Edward Ka-Spel
This Saturated Land [CS; Tolmie Terrapin]

Man, who knew that to drown was such a beautiful way to die? And Ka-Spel’s latest is that: Dying, drowning. Cold and wet, submerged in the briny deep, the endless blue. An ocean of tears? Nah, I don’t think This Saturated Land is all that depressing or serious, or really even that emotional. No no, the legendary Legendary Pink Dots legend merely found the beauty in an especially rainy summer day. And it killed him, it was beautiful, and we can hear all that now on this tape. It starts with an especially chilly passage of what sounds like woodwinds, a foreshadow of winter’s frigid future, before things really set into a groove with the sunken centerpiece that is “A Beautiful Pea Green Boat,” the album’s real gem. It’s a lengthier work, washed out in bleeding pastel colors putting you six feet under the water’s surface. And it flows around you, and you’re there floating face-up so that the sunshine can streak through and warm your face, and you don’t breathe because you can’t and it doesn’t matter because you forget to anyway. It’s just gorgeous, harrowing but comforting, and when it’s over and the voice on the ham radio chimes in as it does, “…are you receiving me?”— like you’re on your way up to heaven — it’s almost a disappointment, and the stabbing synths in the conclusion that follows, “Always October,” makes for a gruesome, mystifying finish. Yeah sure, dying was great, but death? Let’s go back to dying… and let’s do that forever.


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