Simon Pott, aka Isvisible Isinvisible, makes heady and raw electronic music with the modular synthesizer. But what is a lot of the time long improvisations with the circuital beast with most that compose this way, is a more emotional, melodic one with Pott.
He seems to wrangle stories and moments from his instrument, and back in 2017 began a trilogy of albums documenting his youth. Ghosts of Furness Vale(2017) and Ghosts of New Mills(2018) were Simon Pott summoning the sights and sounds of growing up in rural England. These are formative years records. As personal as something like The Kinks’ Village Green Preservation Society, XTC’s Skylarking, or Springsteen’s The River. Except instead of jangling guitar chords and pastoral narration, Isvisible Isinvisible summons the ghosts of his youth with circuits, patch cables, and an instinct to follow where the blinking lights take him.
Ghosts of Mann is the finale in this coming-of-age trilogy. Moving to the Isle of Man in his teens, this album connects to the music that would shape Pott into the musician/composer he’d become. Harder edges, seedier tales, and more nights at the club vibes, this is a grand farewell to a trip into one man’s youth.
There’s a harder sound here. “Laser Disco Fiasco” grooves and grinds like ’78 in Soho, or ’79 in the Lower East Side. Tubeway Army meets Chic at Studio 54, then burn down CBGBs before breakfast at dawn. Hard electro grooves that feel both off the rails and laser pointed. “A Cloudy Day Over Niarbyl Bay” slinks and sways like low clouds hovering above the Irish Sea. It’s a contemplative and kind of dark bit of business. “Witches Hill” sounds like a slow, wheezing robot making it’s way down some cobblestone street, angry and frightened at the same time.
Elsewhere “Groudle Glam(Rossall Rocks)” struts with a touch of attitude like AI creating a glam rock masterpiece from zeros and ones. This is a bit of a nod to glam God John Rossall(of the Glitter Band.) While I hear a touch of “Rock and Roll Parts 1 and 2”, Pott sets the track afire in a modular blaze. It’s quite stunning. “Rendering Day” has shades of NINs “Closer” but feels more sparse, haunted even. Album closer “The Longest of Goodbyes” is Pott musically recreating the last time he saw his father before he passed away, which was at the airport as he was moving away from the Isle of Man. The track aches with a longing and wistfulness; beautiful and sorrowful.
Ghosts of Mann is a proper goodbye to the British island, and to Simon Pott’s ode to his youth. A trilogy of albums that ends on the most visceral and heartfelt of them all. A buzzing musical tribute to ghosts of people, places, things, and experiences.
8.3 out of 10
Ghosts of Mann is out now. Buy it here.