SCUBA DEATH – HELIUM TREMORS from ASHA SHESHADRI on Vimeo.
The newest full-length by RICARDO DONOSO under his SCUBA DEATH alias is steeped in autobiographical lore of a nearly-fatal moment in its creator’s own life. This isn’t the more buoyant underwater techno of someone like say, DREXCIYA and it certainly isn’t Sebastian the crab singing you “Under the Sea”. Nitrogen Narcosis is a freefall into oblivion that is at turns frightening, suffocating and beautiful, but occasionally almost whimsical. The record pairs subdued, bubbling analog techno rhythms and oceanic field recordings with an almost oppressive sense of claustrophobia, quite a bit of aural vertigo and moments of deathly near-silence.
That said, I think it was a smart decision by director Asha Sheshadri to avoid too many overt references to the experience of drowning in the video for the album’s fourth track, Helium Tremors. It would be difficult to convey the situation visually any better than Donoso does sonically. So while this clip does eventually show us some video of the ocean’s surface, its murky depths remain left largely to the listener’s imagination. In their place we get a glitched-out composition built up around intersecting fields of greyscale lines and shapes, all hypnotically cut up and timed with footage of the director herself flickering in and out of the background. Not so busy as to distract from the music, but a fitting accompaniment to it in its own way.
Nitrogen Narcosis is available now from Further Records and is streaming in its entirety below. SCUBA DEATH will be performing under his given name tomorrow night (September 24th) at Middlesex Lounge with DJ WON’T and Hellenic dub techno demigod FLUXION.