Architeuthis Rex - Eleusis CS, and Agarttha - A Water Which Does Not Wet Hands LP

The Summer here has been in full swing for weeks, and it has been rather miserable. The heat and humidity has been brutal and oppressive, making me rather lazy. Thunderstorms rumble and bring torrential rains almost daily. In the last month, we've had about 3 total days in which no rain fell at all. I enjoy a good thunderstorm, provided the soundtrack is good, and two of the great summer thunderstorm soundtracks I've found are from related but distinct projects Architeuthis Rex and Agarttha. I'll let you do your homework in figuring out how they're related, if you don't know already, simply because I want to focus my attention on the music, which in both cases is out of this world.

The two photos you see above are for the Eleusis cassette, from Architeuthis Rex. It's a brilliant album that has really come to define this summer in many ways for me personally. While it's not a particularly dark or sorrowful collection of music, it is also not particularly bright - or perhaps it is both at the same time. It seems to embrace both the radiant sunlight that has beat down upon the Earth as well as the clouds of pure black and grey hanging above us, while finding its own soul in the cool breeze that accompanies the thunderstorms. There are so many instruments and atmospheres at work on this record, and if you listen close enough and use your imagination (which should be running wild from the second this tape starts playing) you can find just about every form of music. Not only man-made music, but also the music of the wilderness, the music of the Earth, and the music of the cosmos. The percussion on the record really stands out to me, but that shouldn't be understood to downplay the importance of the other instrumentation; rather, the percussive rhythms of the record highlight the textures and atmospheres bouncing all around as you are hypnotized by the amazing sounds provided by this tape. In a particularly poignant moment last week, this tape was playing while my son napped in his bedroom, and as I looked outside, the sun was beaming down as strongly as it had in weeks, and I could not find a cloud in the sky. But somehow, a very heavy rain managed to fall, as if from nowhere, soaking the already over-saturated ground. That moment seemed to speak volumes about this tape. You can give it a listen and purchase a digital download of the album at Bandcamp, but due to the grand and exquisite artwork and packaging,  as well as our support of physical editions, you are also advised to get a copy of the tape - there are only a few left from our friends at Zeitgeists, who released this album.

The other album providing the soundtrack for the thunderstorms of this wicked summer - in this case solely the nocturnal ones - is A Water Which Does Not Wet Hands, an LP by Agarttha released by King of the Monsters. This is one of the heaviest records I have heard in a long time, echoing the earliest days of Earth, as well as The Doors, The Velvet Underground, Locrian, and a host of other artists. Indeed, this album is an alchemical journey through genres, emotions, and concepts that meld as one unique experience. From the label:

From the backward special theatre of archetypes, AGARTTHA is a flashing journey into the past dream of a gypsy moth whom powder ferries the listener into the twists and turns of unconscious among the remote architectures of black pointed stones and echoes of warmth and light...  "A Water Which Does Not Wet Hands" is inspired by the namesake book of Sendivogius, a Polish pioneer in alchemical studies and it deals with the Jungian archetypes, in particular with the apocalyptic dreams and premonitions of the daughter of Jung friend, an 8 year old child which dreamed for awhile about death symbols and drew them in a small book before dying of an improvise and fatal illness.

What I have experienced with this record is that any and all words on it either say too much or too little, and the only way to properly understand the record is to hear it, in a dark room (or perhaps no room at all), and for me personally, in concert with a very loud and very heavy thunderstorm. There is much magic to be found and created here, and I can't recommend this record enough. Create your own dark magik with it, however and wherever you choose. To do that, you'll need to get the LP, featuring artwork from Rainbath Visual, from King of the Monsters.

If you happen to be reading this from Europe, you can get both of these releases together, from the artists themselves at Storm As He Walks. For more info on the artists, click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fabulous album!