Das Torpedoes

The Russian Submarine

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AllMusic Review by Fran├žois Couture

For this short cassette, released by the Nebraska-based underground label Seagull, Das Torpedoes (aka Naturaliste's Charles Lareau) found inspiration in the sinking of the Russian submarine Kursk. Instead of focusing on the hazards of the rescue mission (of the crew [a failure] of the ship itself by lifting it from the bottom of the sea) or the governmental coverup as to why the tragedy occurred, Lareau identifies with the sailors. Through six tracks varying in length from two to ten minutes, he offers snapshots of the ship's last voyage, from leaving the port of Murmansk, to the emergency alarm, to "The Last Voyage" -- death. Using only synthesizers and oscillators to produce evocative but deceptively simple drones, Lareau captures the tranquility and mercilessness of the sea. "Off the Coast, Submerging" and "The Last Voyage" paint suggestive interpretations. "Alarms Sound Emergency" takes a path a bit too obvious to translate the strident alarms and general state of panic that followed the fatal blow (whatever it was), but it works well. Good, thoughtful drones.

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