12" £9.99 ARC10
Limited edition vinyl only release on Arcola. 4-track 12" EP.
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It's been like ten years since we last heard from Elizabeth Floyd as The Doubtful Guest. Erase any preconceptions about her music and previous work on Planet Mu as she's operating in an entirely different mode for this four-track EP on Warp sister label Arcola.
Reading the EPs title and track names, you can imagine this could be a lost Drexciya record - there certainly seems to be plenty of that aquatic sound running through this record. Although this certainly isn’t techno or electro. She’s distilled that underwater vibe into a more ambient sound.
The simmering and shimmering metallic synths of opening cut ‘Outbound’ feel genuinely mysterious, as though being lost at sea, having just entered the Bermuda Triangle, giving the sensation we’re either about to be sucked up into the sky by alien craft or submerged. Turns out its the latter, as ‘Open Sea’ creates a feeling of being lost in black waters, attempting to locate the horizon in darkness while something sinister bubbles up from below and drags us down into ‘Underwater City’. Here plankton illuminates our vision just millimetres from our face as we descend into an ancient underwater lost civilization - we get a sense of the majesty but also an overwhelming eeriness, because like, you know, discovering a city at the bottom of the ocean is pretty freaky. ‘Return’ feels kinda woozy and has us gently surface (not too quickly - we don’t wanna get the dreaded “Bends”) and relays a sense of marvel at what we’ve seen. It’s a pretty condensed and concise little journey that maybe could have been more immersive across a long player. It feels kinda brief, but still, it’s well executed mystical ambient, and great to have Elizabeth Floyd releasing records again.
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