Boomkat Product Review:
The first volume of Discrepant's new water themed 'Aquapelagos' series is a soggy journey across the Atlantic from Tenerife-based trio LAGOSS and Portuguese duo Banha da Cobra. Absolutely crucial if yr into the fantasy worlds ov Andrew Pekler, Jon Hassell, Sugai Ken or Christina Vantzou.
Following the label's ace 'Aquapelago' comp last year, 'Aquapelagos Vol. 1' gives two acts a little more space to map out their seasick topography but sticks to the same basic aesthetic guidelines. LAGOSS are up first, and veteran producers Gonçalo F. Cardoso, Mladen Kurajica and Daniel García make short work of getting straight to the point on 'Baía do Papagaio', bending resonant bells over uneven, hollow toms and whimsical electric piano. What begins as a beachside jingle slowly vaporizes into surreal, dream-like wooziness, centering tottering synth improvisations and slow-motion shakers before plunging underneath the water as oscillators mimic swirling bubbles. 'Barranco del Infierno' is even more blunted, splicing skittery improv percussion with noisy environmental sounds and wobbly analog synths, and 'Mar de las Calmas' sounds like a noise show deep inside a flooded cave, with dripping electronic squiggles and tidal drones for company.
Lisbon-based musicians Mestre André and Carlos Godinho, aka Banha da Cobra push out even further on their side, taking a more lower-case approach to their sonics. Understated to the core, the music is expertly distant and characterizes the sense of unease and vast openness the sea can provoke. 'Mojo Rojo' is whisper-quiet, just a far-off clang and rumbling electrical pulses that suggest maybe a lost buouy ringing out on choppy waters, or the sound from a diving bell as it dips beneath the surface. 'Dragos' is a dense cluster of field recordings that refracts pink light through glassy island folk sounds, letting ear-tingling effects singe the edges of music that's usually heard completely untreated, while 'La Laguna' is almost silent, letting occasional sustained hits echo into the terrifying, endless void. It's powerful, poignant electro-acoustic music that's never short of a wry smile or two.