Label: Turnstile Music Release date: 14/06/10 Hailing from Cardiff, a place perhaps not known for its production of no wave DIY bands, Islet have quite deliberately kept themselves obscure (that’s not to say they were unknown, they are a supergroup of members from several prominent Cardiff bands). Having no presence on the internet at all, save from a fan page (not even a myspace page) and a cult following in their hometown, their first ever recording was for BBC Radio 1, an accolade not many bands can boast. The first thing you notice about Islet is their penchant for creating beauty from DIY recordings and a feel for the true troubadours of experimental music. That isn’t to say that they sound like The Normal or Julian Cope however, but from even the first listen you can hear a misspent youth’s worth of obscure influences and tastes. Album opener 'We Shall Visit' is a soft entry for them, built of a tribal rhythm with a slowly developing build up that’s not all dissimilar from the Dodos or Volcano Choir into a paced up tune that is almost a post punk style jam. From here it strolls through a variety of song segments, including a section with Fleet Foxes-esque vocals and a LCD Soundsystem wandering before settling on a choral segment to fade out into atmospherics. We are then brought into 'Iris', a fascinating run though math rock orientated punk with falsetto vocals, borrowing from Gang of Four one moment and Dungen the next in what can be described best as interesting – it is a fantastic song technically but difficult to just simply listen to. Next track 'One of These Worlds' however, is where I believe they truly hit their potential – a sprawling math rock influenced tune that runs through heavy math rock to tropical influences to blissful harmony and back again in little under 6 minutes has to be one of the best songs I’ve heard this year. The second half of the album kicks off with the pounding titan of 'Jasmine', a kraut rock influenced jam, taking elements from the likes of Can before unleashing a chanting vocal that to my untrained ear sounds closer to Indian music than anything else. The music itself reminds me a lot of Holy Fuck’s bass and drum ridden ethic, a real jam piece held by the pounding rhythm section. We are then treated to a piece of psychadelia by the name of 'Holly' that meanders through early British prog and into the Rolling Stones style developments, creating an effortless tune that then develops into a tribal sounding chant backed with some fantastic drum work before landing finally on 'Rowan', an atmospheric piece with winding vocals that provides a cool and soft ending to the album, not a stand out track in any way, but one that fits in nicely with the album. What we have here is a fascinating album. We have three standout tracks (One of These Worlds, Jasmine and Holly) and an album that, while far from perfect, is amazingly new and intriguing and should be amazing live (which is coincidentally the only place you can buy this physically, on a ltd. edition 12”). Photobucket