Isotope 217 are a band formed in Chicago in 1996.
Its members include Chicago Rob Mazurek on trumpet, as well as
Jeff Parker, Dan Bitney and John Herndon from
Tortoise. Their albums tend
to genre jump between post-rock and Jazz. Their albums have almost
exclusively been released by Chicago super label Thrill
They have released three albums:
released an EP
on the Aesthetics
1999, to accompany the full length release Utonian Automatic
first few albums were fairly good experiments in improvised jazz-rock/fusion, while their most recent outing, Who Stole the I Walkman? broke
new ground, combining elements of German Minimalism and
Electronica along with the jazz and post-rock.
In my opinion, Who Stole the I Walkman?, is Isotope 217's best album
to date. One of its best features, is that it's like a
window, showing what's inside, and what they're are capable of, while not
overpowering you. All Music Guide rates is lower than all of the other
Isotope 217 albums, but if you look harder, you'll also see that some
of Isotope 217s best songs are songs from this album. The cover for Who Stole the I Walkman? is also an obvious
reference to the
Louisville hardcore/thrash band Squirrel Bait, which is often
said to be the band that all post-rock stems from.