El Hombre Al Agua: Oumuamua LP
El Hombre Al Agua is the kosmische solo project from Moths & Locusts/Anunnaki bass/synth man Dave Read.
If there’s one aspect of human existence that’s unquestionably overwhelming to ponder, it’s that we dwell in an infinite universe, and that our tiny planet shares it with billions of trillions of celestial bodies. Of this extraordinary fact the British poet-artist Ilyas Kassam commented: “The only kind of universe that I can conceive is an inconceivable one.” Indeed, as attempting to grasp such incomprehensible endlessness can only invoke despair or a profound sense of awe.
One human being spellbound by these and other massive concepts is Nanaimo, BC musician, David Read, subsequently shaping his impressions into sonic tapestries to soundtrack our collective cosmic wonder. A Hydra-headed artist and Canadian indie scene pivot also known for his acclaimed work in Moths & Locusts, the Cymatics Research Institute and Anunnaki (with Wolf Parade’s Arlen Thompson), in his El Hombre Al Agua guise Read creates dark yet beautiful, ambient drone-scapes to sonically illustrate his innermost ruminations.
El Hombre Al Agua’s current macrocosmic preoccupation is the miniscule ‘Oumuamua, being the first extrasolar object to be detected (in October 2017) as passing through our Solar System. Its name a Hawaiian word for ‘messenger’ or ‘scout,’ considering the intensity of sociopolitical turmoil around the world in 2019 Read interprets its arrival as significant: a warning, if you will.
Awestruck by its appearance, in its honour Read composed the ominous, 41-minute, 12-part Oumuamua Parts 1 & 2, to take listeners on a journey through the frozen depths of space aboard this mysterious asteroid. Amplifying the mind-bending statistics of the subject matter, two segments of this El Hombre Al Agua opus are entitled Towards Earth at 315,000 km/h, and 600,000 Years Alone with Nothing but Space Dust. Think about that.
El Hombre Al Agua has been an ongoing project since Read was based in New York City in the mid-1990s. A solo excursion as an extension of the collaborative NYC electronic projects Fantastic Four, Droid, The Band with No Name, and Carlito Verde, its present incarnation is musically and spiritually influenced by Klaus Schulze, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Max Richter, Ash Ra Tempel, Alice Coltrane, Tangerine Dream, Sonic Boom, and Hemispheres-era Rush.
A true solo release in that every instrument is played by Read, following his haunting 2017 debut 1, the epic Oumuamua Parts 1 & 2 was recorded in 2018 at The Chamber, a downtown Nanaimo studio founded and run by Rob ‘The Viking’ Hooper of Canadian hip hop legends, Swollen Members. Hooper has previously collaborated with Read as Sons of Zardoz and, from punk rock to psychedelia, some remarkable music is emanating from The Chamber, the latest beauty being El Hombre Al Agua’s elegiac contemplation on impossibly distant worlds.