ISOMER - Serpent Age - CD - 8 tracks - Tesco Organisation - 2002

Latest release to-date by the Tesco label, 'Serpent Age' is the fruit of Australian David Tonkin's labour, after three self-produced cassettes ('Semblance of Perfection', 'Sedation', 'The Lotus Eaters'), as well as one track included on the Australian experimental compilation 'Behind Closed Doors'.
Dwelling entirely on ambient, ritual, and - for some tracks - (power) electronic grounds, 'Serpent Age' is definitely a sombre record. An album that manages to create an atmosphere, an intriguing, mysterious ambience and which should easily and rapidly appeal to amateurs of ambient sounds as made by Inade, Predominance, Lustmord...
'Serpent Age' must be understood as an album expressing the personal creed and passions of this artist who, himself, presents Isomer as his defence and therapy in the face of the consumerist, passive and stupid world that surrounds us. This project explores the depths of the human soul in their blackest emanations, the concealed essence of things and events that remain so in the majority of cases, the decadence of beauty, the maintained ignorance of the masses....
Each title lifts a veil... from the homage to the Serbs of Yugoslavia diabolised ever since the past world conflict, through 'Star of Sarajevo' until 'Oriflamme', in reference to the Middle Ages and the banner hoisted by the king of France in times of war... The musical composition of the latter title, however, comes as quite a surprise, so much it appears to me, first of all, as an evocation, a response, or else an imitation of 'Douce France' by Les Joyaux de La Princesse... An excellent piece that, nonetheless, proves the gap, which occasionally exists between the images, the references music may evoke in the listener and those that the artist had in mind at the origin of his creative process... Eventually, it is for each of us to form his own opinion.
As far as I am concerned, 'Serpent Age' remains a very good dark ambient record, providing a very pleasant listen and/or evoking some particular moods and ambiances... Above all, it largely excels those more and more numerous, mediocre releases mushrooming in the industrial / ambient scene...
It's a strike of luck that Tesco took this project under their wings, thus sparing him the fate of being lumped with the masses...

Nathalie F.
October 2002
Translation : Volker


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