History of the Future by WatterRelease date: October 20, 2017
I remember how excited I was when I first heard about the debut album of that super trio composed by Britt Walford of Slint, Zak Riles of Grails and the multi-instrumentalist Tyler Trotter called Watter. This World was and still is a perfect album, with long songs, short songs, instrumental sections, and repeating melodic themes that blew my mind since the very first play. Luckily the project didn’t dissolve after the first album and the band toured the US with Om and came back home determined to work on something new.
Three years and long nights later, spent experimenting and crafting new sounds, Watter are back with History of the Future. The new album is approximately 50 minutes in length and is a collection of ten exquisite pieces that have so many nuances that’s quite impossible to define its music style: elements of jazz, math rock, electronic and some classical notes are all blended together to create an album that represents a step ahead compared to This World. History of the Future is probably more dynamic but it does have calm, dreamlike moments.
Essential part of the creative process of this experimental journey are the illustrious guests, which include Britt Walford (Slint), Dominic Cipolla (Phantom Family Halo, Torres), Rachel Grimes (Rachel’s), Bundy K. Brown (Tortoise), and Todd Cook (Shipping News, The For Carnation). With this premise how can History of the Future not be good?
The deep bass tones of ‘Telos’ open the album with a sinister atmosphere that’s tense and dark but served in the softest way. Your mind flies away but ‘Death Knock’ brings you back to the album and even if you try to zone out there’s no way to escape because this track lures you and keeps you stuck on its sound. ‘Sacrificial Leaf’ and ‘Depth Charge’ are the tracks that mostly resemble the mood of the previous album. The synths and the whole sound of ‘Depth Charge’, filled with fat drum beats and belching pulses, are mesmerising and if you close your eyes you find yourself in the set of Mulholland Drive, running on a empty road without understanding what you are escaping from. It’s deep and powerful.
‘The Cloud Sanctuary’ is a short blend of experimental ideas with simple but solid melodies that slowly take the listeners into new territories whose peak is the brilliant title track. ‘History of the Future’ starts with light notes and features a chord progressions that mixes element of jazz and dream pop before becoming deeper and darker resembling the the soundtrack of a minimalist noir movie.
‘Final Sunrise’ is the perfect closure to the sonic journey of History of the Future. The last five minutes of the album are that sober light that warms you after a ride that engages you shifting moods frequently and at the same time it is beautifully melancholic as a walk in a fall day. It’s timing is perfect: it is something you need and docks into you like the missing molecule of a chemical compound.
History of the Future is not easy listening. Give it a go and get involved. You’ll love it.
History of the Future will be released via the Brooklyn-based label Temporary Residence and can be pre-ordered here.