Isol / Zypce - Sima
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Isol / Zypce

Isol / Zypce is an Argentinean brother/sister duo of artists who have released plenty of different work on their own (and in different groups), but up until now, never together. Along with being a fairly well-known illustrator, Isol was a singer and musician in the electronic pop band Entre Rios, and is a singer with The Excuse and Alsace Lorraine. Her brother Zypce has released a CD under his own name and composed music for film, dance, and theatre in his home country.

Together, the two have crafted Sima, sharing composition duties while Isol has written all the lyrics and does the vocals. The result is a somewhat bizarre album that's pretty much all over the map, jumping from understated lullabies to overblown electronic rock songs. "La Primera Vez" opens the release and is a little closer to the general feel that the release has, combining music-box chimes and found-sound sampled percussion with programmed melodies, glitchy filtering, and soft sweet vocals from Isol. Zypce is a builder of instruments as well, and that kitchen-sink feel of sound sculpting certainly seeps through the entire release. "La Culpa" mingles single-note prepared piano with dark synth sweeps and scraped-up beat work as haunting vocal lines drift through like a thick fog, while "Mi Formula Para Llorar" finds tinkertoy style beat work clicking and clopping through fits of distortion, acoustic guitar, and other random noise makers as Isol's vocals range from cooing to chopped-up.

"La Calandria" is the sort of song that features everything that is both great and frustrating about the duo. After opening with an understated section of toy piano noises and haunting drones, over-the-top noisy guitars and huge sub-bass hits cut through the mix and derail the song with unneeded bluster. Fortunately, they keep an air of subtlety a good portion of the time, and songs like "Si De Verdad" don't sound too far off from what Björk might create if she took things down a couple needed notches. Sima finds Isol getting much more adventurous here than she does with any of her previous (and current) outfits, and although it doesn't hit the mark all the time, it's worth hunting down if you're a fan of groups like Cibo Mato or even the aforementioned Björk.

rating: 6.510
Aaron Coleman 2008-07-31 20:54:27