We’re amused whenever music is tagged with what looks like every genre imaginable, but In the Octopus Pond is a fungible album. Even the music rises from the primordial deep,. “Phosphene Silver Abyss” is a gurgling swamp of swirling guitars, coalescing into some unknown creature. As it turns out, this creature is a mystic octopus, as pictured on R. Keane’s gorgeous cover. We’re not sure how Keane was able to get so close to the octopus, unless the tentacled cephalopod was able to sense his intentions were benign.
Arrowounds (Ryan Chamberlain) has a story to tell, which involves an entire colony of octopoid, building temples above the fires and floods. They develop a “tree of disciples,” which includes both Chamberlain and Keane, worshipping at the altar of psychedelica. In the service of their priests (not masters – this worship is freely given), the graphic and musical artists wish to share more than the introduction; they have an entire tale prepared and engraved, hoping to reach a target audience: a four-disc Therianthrope Series, whose success depends, as it does in many religious organizations, on the amount of advance pledges received. Tracks from future albums appear on the adjacent Bandcamp page like prophecies waiting to be consumed, their reality not set until they are unveiled.
These priests are in tune with the earth, surprising due to their aquatic origins. As they leave the water, they encounter insects and backward-masking, highlighting their mystical nature. In “Blue Entombed,” the earth is drenched, providing them with the sustenance they need, rewarding their trust that the universe will provide. They dig into the earth and find an entirely different sort of colony hidden beneath the roots. What happens next? Arrowounds’ music provides the salient clues. The tempos are steady, implying confidence. The melodies are snaking, implying curiosity. The bass is deep, implying success. “Spectral Colours of Science” suggests that the cephalopods will not seek to conquer the depths, but to comprehend them. Subterranean rumbles underline their journey, dominating the sonic field at the seventh minute, but then synth: a breakthrough.
The presence of “Portasar” in the sneak preview provides a connection between history and myth; the title refers to the oldest temple in the world, deep in the heart of Mesopotamia, 5% excavated at this writing. Should one of the undiscovered etchings reveal a humanoid octopus, this album itself ~ not only its genesis ~ will be seen as prophecy. (Richard Allen)
Really enjoying this artist – thanks for the recommendation!