There’s Much Left to Explore by Restless MosaicRelease date: February 15, 2021
Most of the electronic artists that play instrumental music these days engage their energy to create ambient or post-rock soundscapes. As if the longstanding run of innovative bands like Underworld, Plaid, or Future Sound of London has gone a bit quiet. So it is quite refreshing when somebody tries to breathe in new life into instrumental electronics that have a bit more beat and tempo. One such artist seems to be Seattle’s Brandon Isleib, who operates (probably by night) under the pseudonym of Restless Mosaic, and There’s Much Left to Explore is his latest effort.
Why ‘probably by night?’ Because he also doubles (or triples) as a baseball columnist, book author, and lawyer in the Seattle government. But by what he has come up on this album, maybe he should devote all of his time to music, because there’s something quite interesting going on here.
The concept? Isleib says it himself: “Mosaics are colorful and intricate and expressive, but they’re also fixed to where they are. If you were a mosaic, you’d be restless – wanting to get up and find colors like yours. There’s Much Left to Explore captures that feeling, a vital one as a pandemic has grayed the world and left many feeling trapped. It’s about finding horizons and seeing what’s around the next corner.”
Basically, Isleib didn’t feel the need to constrain himself to a specific electronic music model, he tries to combine and let in as many as he could, without going too much overboard. At that, he experiments, but also tries to make sure that his compositions have both a head and a tail – both melody and rhythm, ever-shifting ‘Desert Scorpion’ being an excellent example of what he’s trying to achieve here.
Overall, There’s Much Left to Explore brings back some successful concepts in electronic music with a definite individual angle, and it is so refreshing to hear them again.