Not long ago, Seattle-based electronic/IDM artist Restless Mosaic, aka Brandon Isleib, released a brand-new album, There’s Much Left to Explore.
Explaining the mood of the album, Brandon shares, “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. It’s about feeling freedom for the first time. It is made possible by lockdown while being lockdown’s natural predator.”
A nomad of sorts, Brandon moves around a lot, having lived at 21 different addresses in all parts of the U.S. Currently, while his physical body resides in Seattle, his emotions dwell in his music.
Brandon began his career in music as a dilettante, to the extent of having one of his songs covered by a member of the Smashing Pumpkins. Yet music drifted away, replaced by working as a baseball columnist and book author, along with being a government attorney in Seattle.
Then serendipity entered: at a meet-and-greet with BT and Christian Burns, Brandon engaged in an hour-long wide-ranging conversation with them, during which he discovered he was surprisingly knowledgeable about music. His interest piqued, not long after pop producers LYRE discovered him on Twitter. From them, Brandon learned making music was much easier than ever before, so he dipped back into music in April 2020.
Inspired by his inner muse, he composed the songs appearing on There’s Much Left to Explore.
Comprising 10-tracks, the album starts off with “Swelter,” opening on spitting tones, followed by the entry of darker, potent bass tones. The rhythmic pulse is crisp and compelling as layers of quasi-industrial rinses blend overhead.
Highlights include “Desert Scorpion,” with its trumpet intro topped by exotic percolating percussion and intertwining folk-flavored textures. Then the harmonics shift to futuristic oscillations riding a rambling piano, followed by an accordion emanating traditional tones.
“A Surrender Due in 2007” rolls out on spacey, droning hues, when twirling coloration jumps in, giving the tune dazzling timbres. A rumbling rhythm appears, like a storm brewing in the distance. The last track, “The Rock Face of Sholauren,” features eerie, sepulchral waves of streaming sound, and then segues to unaccompanied plonking taps, followed by re-emerging surges of glowing and groaning textures.
Experimental and definitely exploratory, There’s Much Left to Explore is simultaneously complex and rife with chord and time changes, imbuing it with weird and wonderful tartness.