Simon Pott’s Isvisible Isinvisible project has been a source of joy for my ears ever since I heard his Burning Witches Records self-titled debut back in 2018. His modular synth wizardry is nothing short of brilliant, as very few can conjure such melody, harmony, and nostalgia from such an unpredictable machine. The nostalgia comes from Pott’s series of autobiographical LPs, such as Ghosts Of Furness Vale, Ghosts Of New Mills, and Ghosts Of Mann, capturing tales of childhood, family, and his early days as a post-punk kid filling his brain with Tubeway Army and Joy Division. You feel these albums and the journey they take you on.
On Pott’s latest release as Isvisible Isinvisible titled Exhaler, there’s a feeling of melancholy and quiet reflection mixed within almost post-punk indignation. The circuits and Kraftwerk-heavy percussive feel seem to extract memories that aren’t our own; aged photographs of a life we never lived. Exhaler is our introduction.
Exhaler opens with the slow and almost seductive rhythm of the title track. Hissing percussion like a robotic heartbeat and accompanied by wavering synth. Pott gives us a moody entrance into this albums’s world. “I Can Still See You” is propulsive and urgent in its delivery. I’m reminded of guys like Rüdiger Lorenz and Bernard Szajner and their approach to electronic music in this track. “What Is Done Is Done” also captures that German electronic DIY approach to synthesis, albeit with a more widescreen approach. There’s an almost epic feel here. Triumphant, even.
My favorite moments with Isvisible Isinvisible are the moments of emotional connectivity he gathers with the patch cables and blinking lights. Tracks like “Low Tide” and the epic album closer “Nadia(Eternal)” have sonic heft and contemplative muscle to them. They hold in them the weight of life, experience, and connection. These are things that are hard to pull from the modular realm. Simon Pott wrangles these complex emotions and runs them through a vault of electro toys and gadgets, bringing to life a humanity and relatability that we can grasp onto. It’s really quite stunning.
Exhaler is yet another brilliant turn of an album for Isvisible Isinvisible and Mr. Pott. A dash of post-punk, new wave, electro pop, and Krautrock combined with the human experience, memory, and heavy-heartedness and you’ve got yourself one hell of a listen.