The Watermark High – Slow Motion Clarity EP by orlandooom407
April 2, 2012, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Post-Rock | Tags: , , , ,

“She was blinking furiously, and then several squiggles clouded her vision.”

I’m not exactly sure what the moniker of South African electronic musician Paul van der Walt entails. The Watermark High makes me think of someone intoxicating themselves on the proof of their own accomplishments, but don’t think for a second that TWH dawns a coat of self-absorption. Compositions like these make me glad that I’ve been integrating much more experimental and electronically oriented music into my diet. Carefully constructed aural snapshots that cultivate a harmonious union of electronics and post-rocky guitar delays. A consistent complaint I’ll have with EPs is that they’re too short (even though I review a lot of EPs), and I will not retract that for Slow Motion Clarity. The percussion keeps you guessing, and makes me wonder if Paul has a background with jazz or just has naturally uncanny drum pad ingenuity. Each chop cuts a path for the synth and/or guitar leads to meander through. This is a name your price download, so don’t delay click away (below).

Follow The Watermark High on Facebook.

– Jared Oates Haggard


North&south – Ghost by orlandooom407

Happy Friday everyone! Jean Saiz, of Shroud Eater, brought this band to my attention. I’m thankful she did, because I didn’t think I was ever going to have the pleasure of reviewing anything quite like North&south. This Miami based quartet integrates a triumphant blend of ambient guitar swells, and mesmerizing percussion patterns to usher in their tranquil soundscapes. The bass guitar provides a hearty compliment to each riff and build, and I particularly enjoyed its placement within the mix.  Hope you like delay pedals, because there’s certainly no shortage of those.

Technique aside, these refined instrumentalists definitely understand the power of cohesive song writing. What’s most outstanding though is that the organization of songs allows each one to independently journey within itself, rather than unifying a spacious exodus where track changes aren’t apparent. No vocals either, but they aren’t needed with the battalion of subtle sound filling the framework.

These folks are exceptionally generous too, because the Ghost EP is available on their Bandcamp page “for the reasonable price of fucking free.” See the bottom of this review for a link.

Tasteful electronics are found beneath the waves, but they don’t take any precedence over the guitars. One exception though, on track three titled The Room, begins and ends with a forefront synthesizer that gradually pulses and rings similar to the sound of intergalactic star ship reactor. If The Room were an onomatopoeia it would sound like this: wommmm woowwrrmmm wommrraarrmm wommm. The woms reveal a hushing passage back into the carefully placed drum rhythms that introduce the fourth track: An Ocean. Not to be confused with THE Ocean. Did I mention the drummer of N&s is actually Matthew Gossman formerly of Cooper City hardcore spazz specialists: Into the fucking Moat? Well he is, and as a Cooper City native myself, it’s quite captivating to see him embracing a new, but no less rudimentary, dynamic.

The latter half of the Ghost EP takes a satisfying patient turn by allowing riffs to linger noticeably longer to stew in their own ambient audio gravy. Track five, Day of the Movement, submits to a mood that feels strikingly similar to a sunrise gradually toasting a south Floridian patio on a lethargic Saturday morning. That is, before the thermostat finds it home at a predictable 104 degrees come 10:30am.

I invite everyone to check out this wonderful example of crisp and mature musicianship this weekend over your first cup of coffee.

Check out North&south’s Ghost EP on their Bandcamp page.

Oh also, N&s are joining the sludgy caravan of The Proselyte, flyingsnakes and Hyimn in Miami, FL at Beezlebub’s Cave TONIGHT for only five measly dollars:

– Jared Oates Haggard