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Vivid and hyperreal, 'Islet' draws it's influences from many exotic zones. Among them J-Pop, dub, electronic music, sci-fi, ambient, and cyberpunk. Utilizing all manner of sounds which give the record its luscious sonic design and epic sweep.

"Peptalk are Mike Carter, Shayna Dunkelman and Angelica Negron. Carter, an electronic musician, and Dunkleman, the percussion from Xiu Xiu, met in Oakland, CA after bonding over a shared love of mid-century exotica artists like Esquivel and Martin Denny, who used experimental blends of synths, samples and orchestral instruments to create sonic interpretations of strange lands. Carter and Dunkleman upped sticks for Brooklyn, where they met Negron, a singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist. The trio decided to form Peptalk to create their own disparate worlds through music.

 

Début album Islet is certainly a world of its own, with the band drawing upon their upbringings in America, Puerto Rico and Japan and to create a land informed by global cultures yet exotic and alien. The album artwork goes some way to visualising this place: a photograph of a world the band created in an old fruit crate they found on the street. The intricate scene represents the titular islet, a lush, nameless landscape full of arresting details and half-familiar echoes. So important is this fruit crate world that it features in the band’s live performances:

 

“The diorama itself is hooked up to a computer that controls numerous LED lights which have been carefully installed below the worlds surface. To accompany their live performances, this vibrant scene is projected behind the band, creating an otherworldly effect that envelops their audiences”

 

Only the musical world they have created is far more complex than a fruit crate and some LEDs. While many ambient acts could claim to conjure landscapes, Peptalk paint ecosystems, thriving arrangements of geology and biology where plants and animals and wind and rain follow their own instinctive patterns. However, things are not quite what they seem. While the components of the landscape are recognisable, their order is not. It’s like seeing jungles and waterfalls and deserts and tundras all in one space, pines and palms and flat baked earth, mammals and marsupials and other taxa as yet unidentified. Unsurprisingly, there is a supernatural edge here, something akin to Twin Peaks where elemental forces take on familiar shapes and every so often reality ripples like a curtain in the breeze. By the end the scene seems less natural and more technological, an experiment in some cyberpunk laboratory or else a complex projection engineered by an advanced mechanical race looking for answers. Whatever Islet is, it certainly takes you on a journey." Various Small Flames

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