The name Scuba Death sounds like it belongs to some psych-rock group, but actually the name refers to a nearly-fatal experience that Brazilian composer Ricardo Donoso had while scuba diving. The brush with doom pushed him to express himself creatively: The Worm At The Core, an album centred around thunderstorm field recordings, is the latest chapter of the project. On Further Records.
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Further Records make everything around you look ominously blue in different degrees of dark on this utterly compelling record from Scuba Death. This is a dub techno offering that truly makes itself on atmosphere -- Ricardo Donoso proves himself, above all things, to make a great soundscape. Bolts of lightning (you hear thunder, but it feels like you can see it with this vivid a production), and scatterings of rain-like wash introduce a record whose drones and subdued beats move together symbiotically, their sounds both writhing in the same environment.
It makes a welcome change, given much of the dub techno I’ve heard feels strangely surgical, divesting in sound and rhythm rather than bringing them together. Where a GAS record often feels like an ambient rumination with a night club popping off elsewhere, this kind of record uses its forward momentum beat to drive you through the heart of its environment, the crashing waves and droning shimmers used to suggest imagery further along a beaten path. Using field recordings and cello by Rafa Selway as sources for the record’s musical aspect, the record feels something like an open world aquarium; the cello sounds as if it’s being tugged at with sandpaper, creating a grey, windy sound that should terrify you quite adequately.
It is a gorgeous record, and praise it in all its dub techno glory -- it is involving. You are inside of it.
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