After a flirtation with all sorts of Moogs, Matthew Bourne returns to his first instrument, the piano – and brings things even closer to home with the use of his Yorkshire abode, where the recording sessions for ‘Isotach’ took place in ‘Extreme Weather’. With the gentle persuasion of the piano and the brushes of string instrumentation it is easy to see the comfort Bourne took from being indoors, and with the images evoked it is possible for the listener to experience the rain running down the windows and the wind hammering at the door. None of the elements are explicitly referenced on the record but the disquiet is palpable on tracks like the more troubled ‘Isopleth’, or the ghostly harmonics and threadbare cello notes underpinning ‘Extinction’. The strings are richly comforting on ‘Isotherm’ but it’s Bourne’s piano that really provides the solace, especially when the harmonies settle. A fascinating album that has much more substance than your average piano-led piece of work. Bourne’s music has poise and grace, but plenty of feeling too.

Ben Hogwood
5 out of 5