Isle by René Aquarius

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René Aquarius | Isle
Zona Watusa (CS/DL)

This is the latest from Dutch drummer René Aquarius (of Dead Neanderthals) on Barcelona-based imprint Zona Watusa. Isle is a single thirty-four minute journey giving “the listener the feeling of being all alone on an island” that “combines field recordings (Germany and Sweden) and a series of notes to add an atmosphere of melancholy and majesty.” It opens like soft rain with the slightest of crickets, slowly the day dawns. Gulls croak as a constant stream of water (like whitenoise) center the listener in an seashore-like setting. Waves begin to crash upon cliffs, and a meandering drone opens into a bit of reverb, and fade, and rise in a pattern.

The combination of sounds is hypnotic and soothing, though there is something “out there” – something just beyond the typical gaze. As the ocean is so amorphous and fleeting it is hard not to get caught up in its repetitive, yet organic motion. Aquarius completes the picture by giving his on-site recording room to surge and drain by mirroring the cascade with intermittent wave synthesis that harmonizes into the dulcet pockets of his watery backdrop. Aside from the edgelessness of the aqueous mass, audible are small creaks and palpatations of unknown origin, likely caused by the wind and human hand.

TIDES TURN: Speaking with the artist briefly about his influences and use of sparse musical elements for this he mentioned an interest in hiking out on a deserted island and how this connected to his main inspiration of how video game worlds refer back to points that are far off shore. After all, this is a record of generous solitude and environmental strength in a time when it is needed more than ever. The chorus of our climate is one to be in harmony with, now and forever – and anything less only offers disruption of a greater balance. Mother Nature wuz here!

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