Aqua Disco - Seahawks - LICK MY DECALS OFF, BABY! #69

“Drifting, drifting, drifting… it seems like another life.” It does, too. I lie in a haze, half-dreaming, conscious only that cogito ergo sum. I am conscious only of my sensory perception. I have no prejudices or hopes or loves or desires or fears: my being is overwhelmed by a festivity of colours, faint-remembrances, astrophysical interplanetary journeys through time and space. I hear the waves of an ocean, the cry of a seagull. A faint voice appears; echoing as if remote, fragmentary and possibly a product of my own muddled senses.
“It seems like another life.”

“It seems like another life.”

“It seems like another life.”
Slowly my senses are roused. Perchance is that the semblance of a rhythm? One in tune with nature, a suggestion of a beat rather than an actual presentation. The sounds are slowly slipping into unison, trickling together, one drop at a time. Soon they will form a cascade of Biblical proportions and yup, there we go: this beat, anticipated as one anticipates the coming of Spring in that cold incandescent post-Winter stillness. Glorious in all its fullness, accompanied by a pulsatile bassline and interstellar synth lines… Seahawks are back, baby.

Aquadisco is Seahawks second full length, coming just under a year after their fantastic Invisible Sunrise that I reviewed way back in January. These months have clearly only encouraged Seahawks fondness for retro sounds and spacey atmospheres. They sure must have been taking lessons from the Tangerine Dream High School, cause these long and mollifying synthscapes are right out of Edgar Froese’s textbook. Synths are layered upon synths; we can hear a multitude of different effects each adding to the cosmic aquadisco… thus Aquadisco is a much richer album than Invisible Sunrise. It feels fuller, somehow more complete. There’s a finer palate of sounds of offer here, a more resplendent variety. Naturally Aquadisco is filled with the cosmic sine waves and massaging beats that we all know and love, but there’s more to them this time, yessir. On Oceans of Space, we’re transported on a whirling ride through the hustle and bustle of the city, late at night. Colossal towers of glass and steel dominate the skyline, their permanently shining lights illuminating the darkness, creating a sense of impersonal majesty and human triumph. The pace, the hustle and bustle of the metropolitan area is all around us as we drift through, walking on nighttime pavements, the big lights and sounds as our backdrop while all we can do is pass through, taking it all in. We are surrounded by people and yet are totally alone. Towards the close of the track we’re treated to the sounds of the saxophone, propelling the track into deeper emotional territory, and a wonderful guitar part gives the track its finishing touch of finesse, a touch of comfort in the otherwise busy city. This is completely new territory for Seahawks, and I’m liking it, yessir I’m liking it a lot.  Other tracks, such as Visions of Green, are pure NEU! ’75 or something… Krautrock and spacerock seems to have been a rather apparent influence on the album. But I’m finding the beats of a different character too; it’s as though their marriage to Tangerine Dream has gone sour and they’ve cheated with Aphex Twin. Some of the beats have a gloriously retro sound, fantastically lo-fi, only adding to the retro groove of the album. My one concern is that Aquadisco isn’t as much of a progression from Invisible Sunrise as I’d have liked… oh there are suggestions here and there, some songs in new styles that work magnificently, adding to the Seahawks style without taking away from its core aesthetic, and when these songs pop up, they are magnificent. But I think Aquadisco feels more like a transitory album than something totally new. Seahawks are making a great attempt to usher into a new style, but something about Aquadisco suggests caution rather than boldness. They’re onto a great thing, but I think they have yet to deliver what they’re truly capable of. I think their best is definitely yet to come IF they can stop themselves from being too comfortable. I think they can. This new album is a marked step up, and it makes for a damn good listen. Seahawks have been hungry all right. I just hope they’re not full now.

Words – Adam.

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