the crayfish looks up at the tiny webbed feet above

November 19, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Aqua Dentata – The Cygnet Procambarus (CD-r, Beartown Records, edition of 50)

aqua dentata - cygnet procambarus

No-one in what this blog lovingly refers to as the ‘no-audience underground’ is producing work as consistently brilliant as Eddie Nuttall. The back catalogue of his project Aqua Dentata – growing with the alien beauty and frustrating slowness of a coral reef – contains not a wasted moment. His work – quiet, long-form dronetronics with metallic punctuation – is executed with the patience and discipline of a zen monk watching a spider construct a cobweb.

To listen is to be immediately removed from your surroundings in a kind of rapture, to be placed elsewhere for the duration, then abruptly returned by the inevitable snap cut. His plug-pulling endings are like being thrown through the doors of the TARDIS into… your own kitchen, or the bus to work…

…which is where I first heard this album (for the record: one half-hour-ish track on CD-r, great collage cover and Spirograph-style insert, from those lovely boys at Beartown). I later joked on Twitter that it made my commute feel like a trip to the off-world colonies. Since then though, repeat listens have dunked me into a tank of pink jelly (yes, two gloopy posts in a row). Picture this:

In some future hospital you are recovering from a horrible accident. Within a giant glass vitrine, you are suspended in a thick, healing gel – an amniotic fluid rich in bioengineered enzymes and nanotech bots all busy patching you up. From the waist down you are enmeshed in metal, a scaffold of stainless steel pins keeping your shape whilst the work continues. The first twenty minutes of Eddie’s half hour describes your semi-conscious state of prelapsarian bliss, played out over dark undertones of bitter irony: every moment spent healing is, of course, a moment closer to confronting the terrible event that put you there.

During the final ten minutes the tank empties, bizarrely, from the bottom up. Pins are pushed from healing wounds and tinkle and clatter as they collect below you. Attending staff shuffle nervously but maintain a respectful distance and near silence. As the gel clears your head, your eyes slowly peel open, the corners of your mouth twitch. You look out through the glass at the fishbowled figures in the room. You weakly test the restraints you suddenly feel holding you in place, and with a sickening flash it all comes back and you rememb———

—ooOoo—

Beartown Records

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