Jochem Peteri comes drifting back into earshot with some new NWAQ tackle in tow. He’s minting a new label with three pieces that embellish the NWAQ soundworld with a fresh slant. ‘Above II’ is a crystal clear beam of light strapped to a kick that trips over itself with grace and poise. It’s forthright and yet wholly untethered, a pre-echo for the anchorless expanse of ‘Above I’, which buries some heavy bass ruminations very far down in the mix. That leaves it to ‘Dume’ to come staggering out all bleary-eyed, caked in last night’s distortion and yet still exuding a cracked beauty that stands up to the first light of dawn. The artwork which adorns this record is by environment sculpting internet artist Jan-Robert Leegte. NWAQ has always stood for a kind of environmental immersion, and this new emission compounds that idea in three distinct, refreshing ways.
Ahead of the Meakusma Festival 2019, Don’t DJ and NWAQ did an artist residency developing new music together from scratch. Their resulting performance at the festival was a mesmerizing descent into the artistic perspectives of two singular artists active in off-kilter club music. Some of the eight tracks on this record were recorded live at the festival while others were recorded during the residency. All dwell in distorted and eccentric bliss and play around with rhythmic arrhythmic and post-rhythmic tension. There is happiness in dystopia although the subtle yet intense layering in the music hints at undercurrents that are far from bright. The joyousness of this record lies in the notable excitement Don’t DJ and NWAQ experience fusing their modi operandi coming up with a music that shines and distorts. As massive blocks of sound alternate with subtler disorienting parts repetitive vocals create an air of disparate acceptance. It uses club music’s template and pushes on.
As Jochem Peteri returns his attention to the jewels buried in his back catalogue, including last year’s reissue of the 154 LP Strike, it’s a relief to know this understated rough diamond is getting the appropriate reissue treatment.
Newworldaquarium adds to his small but perfectly formed discography two unreleased extras from his Dead Bears album, and describes them as “early 2000s minimalism trying to survive in today’s maximized society.” ‘Mercury’ is a ten minute epic that journeys to the stars. Cosmic melodies shimmer in expansive skies as rubber kicks speed up and slow down back on earth. Synths twinkling and change shape, grand pads wash over you and the whole thing is utterly beautiful and hypnotic. ‘Levels Halo’ is a vastly spacious cut with arcing pads reaching up to the heavens as super deep kick drums gently thud way down below. Part dub, part ambient, part soundtrack, it is a truly cathartic listening experience. These are two more devastatingly deep and emotive cuts from Newworldaquarium.
More dead bears for the masses! Unreleased/never heard before material by Newworldaquarium. Trancendental disco fever straight from the aquarium.