In England Now, Underwater is an album for anyone who's ever found themselves on the coast of Britain in Winter. To make it Cremation Lily (aka Zen Zsigo) manipulated field recordings of the Hastings coast and used electronics to capture the hostility, grandeur, and lost splendour that the edge of this little island represents.
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‘In England Now, Underwater’ is an incredibly intimate record that finds beauty in the mundane. The coastal wind blowing into his microphone, the sound of the ocean, the seagulls etc. are all captured with a raw quality that takes you right there with the artist - Zen Zsigo. It’s as though we were in his pocket as he trudges along the ice cold coastline of his hometown Hastings. The way in which he layers and collages his rough, almost in the red field recordings with electronics give us a real sense of location that’s half here and now and half-remembered. There’s something of classic Aphex Twin in this musics DNA -- although it doesn’t particularly sound like Aphex, its evocative of British coastlines in the same way that some of the tracks from ‘Surfing On Sine Waves’ transport you to Cornwall. There’s an eerie, ghostly quality to some of these tracks - if ghosts were actually like technically a thing, I’m sure Hastings would have plenty of the buggers.
There’s something really sad about this record - its incredibly introspective - everything from the bleached piano sounds to the violin and even the more techno, acid-laced tracks feel forlorn. What’s particularly striking about ‘In England Now, Underwater’ is its deeply personal quality throughout, each track feels handcrafted and personalised with little details as though it were a journal. He lets us in further with the occasional spoken word passage, so that by the time we reach the end of the record, it actually feels like we’ve been hanging out with him for like a week or something... and then I just wanna give him a big man hug. Can the world be as sad as it seems?
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- In England Now, Underwater by Cremation Lily
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