artifacts of the no-audience underground: the rest of aqua dentata

October 18, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Aqua Dentata – Seventh Past The Umbrella (C35 cassette, Beartown Records, BTR029)

Aqua Dentata – Lesbian Semiotics at a Jewellery Table (CD-r, Echo Tango, etc01)

Well, hasn’t this lad made a good impression?  Since Eddie Nuttall came to my attention via a charming email and the gift of his remarkable album March Hare Kraken Mare I’ve seen write-ups in other journals of record, including RFM’s sister publication Idwal Fisher, I’ve marvelled at the marvellous A Staircase Missing on Sheepscar Light Industrial, and even had the pleasure of his company over dinner when he and Paul ‘BBBlood’ Watson trekked up from that London to administer two of the sharpest live sets I’ve seen this year.  Eddie’s performance was a masterclass in control; a lesson in fire-walking for those more delicate artists who struggle with the hubbub of a traditional gig venue.  Hypnotize the audience with something as good as this and they simply have no choice but to shut the fuck up.

Aqua Dentata’s body of recorded work is still small enough to cradle whilst cooing at its perfection.  Each release is ‘of a piece’ with the others as Eddie works through the implications and nuances of a disciplined, minimal aesthetic.  Anyone who has read my many worshipful posts regarding Culver will sense me nodding in approval at this approach.  Complaints that ‘it all sounds the same’ are for the barbarous and uncouth.  Four releases are listed on the Aqua Dentata website: the two aforementioned and the two I am about to discuss.

The recording of Seventh Past the Umbrella is dated to 2001 which makes it a fascinating developmental step towards Eddie’s current activity.  Why the decade long break in between this recording and the recent releases?  I’m intrigued.  Anyway, the aesthetic ‘vibe’ is already in place but, as you might expect from a first attempt, the sound is rawer, less cut.

What you get are two side long fuzz/drone pieces multi-layered from tooth-loosening top-end to slack-flapping rumble.  These elements slide over each other with the firm grace of a Turkish masseuse kneading a sumo wrestler’s back.  This is fleshy, satisfying fare: quivering in its own jelly, glistening with delicious juices.  Or if the metaphors are getting too meaty for you (and I am being deliberately naughty here ‘cos I know Eddie is vegan) how about this?  It is the sound of the thoughts of a super-organism, expressed by the beating wings and chittering mandibles of the millions of pseudo-individuals that make up the colony.

Lesbian Semiotics at a Jewellery Table (some kind of gender politics set-to at a craft fair?  I daren’t even ask), recorded last year and released on Eddie’s own Echo Tango imprint, is fashioned from the same material as March Hare Kraken Mare and A Staircase Missing.  That is: another recording documenting the sounds emanating from the central chamber of some occult power station.  In this vast room energy is produced by giant metal discs sliding over each other lubricated solely by their own sheen, or occasionally with a dab of fragrant, grainy, wax-like grease.  It is multistable: both calming and unnerving at the same time.  Quietly magnificent.

Remarkably, at the time of writing it appears that all four items in the Aqua Dentata catalogue are still available for sale – though budding completists should note: not in great quantities.  You’ll need to scamper over to the releases page of the Aqua Dentata website where you can buy Lesbian Semiotics… direct from Eddie and follow the links there to Beartown Records and Sheepscar Light Industrial for the rest.

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