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Loke Rahbek’s multitudes have long been multiplying. A decade ago, the Danish producer was singing in a black metal band called Sexdrome when he named his brutal noise label, Posh Isolation, after a 1998 lyric of the Glaswegian twee-pop band Belle and Sebastian: “Anything’s better than posh isolation.” His oeuvre has ranged from the absurdist power electronics/performance art of Damien Dubrovnik to faithful new wave in Lust for Youth. Guiding all of Rahbek’s disparate work is an inquiry into what might constitute the underground music of today. His ambient electronic project Croatian Amor is its gentlest answer.
Isa, named after the Muslim Arabic word for Jesus, is his most cohesive project to date. His self-described “bubblegum industrial” has only traces of sugar left, but he still lets in plenty of light and air. It’s an understated electronic collage that seems as spiritually akin to the gothic electronics of Arca as the terror of Throbbing Gristle, but Rahbek also seems fascinated by pop—with dissecting pop for parts and refiguring melodic elements into something truly other. In 2016, Rahbek said he had listened to Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreak for the first time on a plane while the aircraft broke down and made an emergency landing. Isa sounds like that, too: pop actively deconstructing, adding a sleek AutoTune and rattle to its nonlinear shape. asdf