Outta-nowhere, last year’s surprise ‘Sunrise’ caught the scene at large with a classic ‘gotcha’. Cloaked throughout its production, “the greatest trance series of them all” (MIXMAG) sprang back from the release wilderness. While it’d received a new triple DJ/mix reshape, what hadn’t changed (lest it need saying!) was its greatest characteristic: ISOS’s inimitable musical identity.
Born more of instinct, sense & feel, as opposed to anything as palpable as style, tempo or arrangement, ISOS has always required a very specific type of handler. A DJ either natively has ‘the right stuff’, or never will. Even then its mixers still have to click themselves wholly & completely into that sunrise-searching state of mind.
In many ways ISOS’s musical ethos is paradox. Chilled yet with a unique energy, never too ‘up’, never too ‘down’, balance its absolute essential, its new format requires its DJs – each with their own identity – to work as one. No small ask, yet miraculously, this year as last, musical alchemy’s occurred.
All that being said, ISOS has changed one aspect for 2019. Its fifteenth musical quest has broken with its well-established release tradition, picking up an autumn spot. Notably along with its November 08 release, it’s also adopted a different aesthetic. Cooler, yet more refined musically? You decide. But in terms of ways to wrap up your 2019, you could hardly ask for more.
Returning after last year triumphant showing, Markus Schulz again assumes responsibility for its opening mix. Taking over the middle disc spot is Jerome Isma-Ae, while Finland’s Orkidea brings his ice-cool nous to the third. As ever, the release holds a spyglass to the mixers’ own release horizons. Alongside is music from a galaxy of ISOS-clued producers – Ferry Corsten, Bicep, Paul Oakenfold, Solarstone, BT, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Jam & Spoon, Yotto and Henry Saiz among them.
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