Going beyond just the finished article of an album, ‘Ancient M’ocean’ first and foremost is a conceptual project. Due to be accompanied by a comic book tale of science fiction romance written by Babe, Terror in collaboration with illustrator Michael Crook and designer Bela J. Audibly avant-garde, each composition follows the imaginary protagonist on a journey of expansive resonance influenced by the sea. Using just his voice and lo-fi recording equipment the Brazilian artist creates layers of sound that interlock, yet contrast against one another while being underlined with a consistent distorted beat for each segment of ‘Windsurf for Souls’, eventually dissolving as it reaches the end in part three.
‘Allureon’ — split into four chapters — delves deeper into the abyss of cosmic vibrations, as polyphonic instrumentals manufacture industrial and mechanical symphonies, which is then brought to a head by ‘South’ one of the calmer, more muted tracks on the album — incorporating the delicate notes of a piano, thrust against faint choral wails of a twisted and demented choir. Featuring a warped voice over that could thrive in a reoccurring nightmare ‘We’ll Be Here’, track rewinds replaying and recapping the psychedelic trip.
‘Ancient M’ocean’ is a body of work unlike any other we’ve heard in decades, yet at times the repetitive nature of the album verges on tedious. Babe, Terror is an acquired taste, but is definitely worth giving a chance.
Words: Lois Browne
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