ISLA began life as a cassette oriented platform for longform lo-fi techno and ambient endeavours. Operated by NAP, AKA one half of Ambien Baby with D.Tiffany, there were a slew of these releases before launching their first truly club-ready vinyl EP in the form of Ambien Baby’s Transfusión EP. A four-tracker primed to satisfy dancers while retaining just enough of the label’s early cerebrality and experimental spirit, it set a precedent for future releases.
NAP has since explored faster regions, dubbed out zones, electronic psychedelia and heavy-hitting house music. In June, they even touched upon some White Isle-style chill from NAP’s Open Sound System side project – a distinctly warm and fuzzy departure for an imprint seemingly committed to exploring shadier sounds.
As such, their latest EP by Dosis (another NAP side project) feels like a pendulum-swing back to its dark normalcy. Sombras is primarily a crushing, new beat-inspired electro release that would be deadly in the hands of the Princess of Darkness herself, Ms Hauff, who might stab you repeatedly with its distorted percussion and stalactite synths.
And yet there is still an element of warmth and fuzziness here, not least in the band’s ridiculous press shot. The pair, both rocking sleek shades and jet black apparel, rest against a railing and a pose (both goofy and bad-ass) that says: “we just made a sick EP of nu-skool EBM and electro.” If not for the high-res PNG, you could be fooled into thinking the image of the duo was taken one bitter mid-80s morning in a Belgian alley. With a glint in their eyes, NAP and his pal ZDBT are living out their Euro-industrial fantasy while donating all proceeds to AFRORACK, a Chicago-based organisation providing modular synthesis education for young African Americans.
Sombras is out August 24th on ISLA | Pre-order here