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Boomkat Product Review:
Another compelling entry from Tri Angle Records, who've cleverly snapped up the frightening debut album by Water Borders. With 'Harbored Mantras' the San Fran-hailing duo of Amitai and Loric use the rhythms of contemporary ritual dance music to resurrect the occult soul of Coil and their cabal in unique and succinctly pop balanced new forms. A couple of mixtapes - both self-released and for the brilliant DIS magazine - display their influences quite clearly, working in a circle of influence ranging from Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson's eerie Threshold HouseBoys Choir to James Blake's chamber pop and the rhythm schematics of Doc Daneeka or DJ Elmoe, and it's fair to say this album sums up all of those and more. The opening palette cleanser 'Tread On Them' crosses swords between gamelan, narcotically-blunted House and a deeply uncanny channelling of Jhonn Balance-like vocals, whose inspiration looms large into the stunning 'What Wiwant', practically scratching at the hairs of the neck with vocal anguish over the tuffest 'ardcore subs and clammiest ambience. We could happily play this on repeat this until the national grid shut down. That chilling vocal continues to pervade deeper in, with 'Bad Ethos' summoning depth charge Bristolian Dubstep in a tableau of sneering choirs and poltergeist shrieks, and to sour effect on 'Even In The Dark' and the 'Feasting On Mongeese', beautifully sustaining the aura of affected gothic torment. In the closing rites, this poise is held to elegant effect in the sepulchral space of 'Seed Bank', MIDI sax bleat circling abyssal 808 bass hits, and to exotic infusions of 'Antechamber' leaving us to dreams of grotesquerie even Pasolini would be proud of.