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Isol / Zypce: 'Mi Formula Para Llorar'

Argentina probably isn't the first place you think of for groundbreaking electro-pop music, but for the past several years it's been turning out a number of stunning recordings from some of the genre's most inventive artists. Juana Molina's Segundo was at the top of some lists for the best album of 2000. Entre Rios has been hailed as one of the finest electro-pop trios on the planet. Now comes the brother-sister duo Isol and Zypce (that's ee-SOLE and ZIP-see). They're about to put out their debut release, called Sima. It's one of the year's more curious CDs: a spectacular headphone album, with a richly layered world of blips and clicks.

Isol and Zypce don't attempt to reinvent electronica on Sima. But it's a brilliantly crafted example of how mesmerizing and emotionally vibrant a mix of beeps and drum machines can be. It's the kind of album you can get blissfully lost in, drifting deep into the crackled texture of its digital landscape. It also doesn't hurt that singer Isol (who's recorded with Entre Ríos) has an enchantingly pure voice.

On the strange and endlessly surprising "Mi Formula Para Llorar" (My Formula for Crying), Isol sings of a desperate love affair, repeating the lines, "Tell me you love me and it'll be over. Tell me you love me and I know you'll never come."

Isol also sings with the baroque group The Excuse and is a member of the synthpop American band Alsace Lorraine. Her brother Zypce released a solo album called Neuvo Muerto (New Dead) in 1994. He's also composed for film, dance and theater in Argentina and abroad.

Isol's first occupation is as an illustrator. She's drawn artwork for a number of children's books and did the drawings for Sima's liner notes.

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Robin Hilton is a producer and co-host of the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered.