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Review – Watter: History of the Future (Temporary Residence)

Watter: History of the Future (Temporary Residence)

Epic titles deserve epic music, and this foray into a musical cosmos loosely mapped by Krautrock, the soundtracks of Ennio Morricone and the electronic creations of Bob Moog more than justifies its heading.

For Watter’s second album the core trio of Zak Riles from instrumental psychonauts Grails, Slint drummer Britt Walford and multi-instrumentalist Tyler Trotter is augmented by a sprinkling of the finest musicians from their base in Louisville, Kentucky (including members of Tortoise, Rachel’s and The For Carnation). The resulting 10 tracks demonstrate what is possible when you corral like-minded collaborators with a common geography, a masterful grasp of their instruments and a collective ambition to soundtrack the movies in your mind.

Not for Watter tilting at mere sadness; instead they conjure unfathomable sorrow on the opening Telos, while on the closing Final Sunrise they restore equilibrium by invoking nothing less than rapture through the marriage of spectral acoustic guitar and Rachel Grimes’s gambolling piano. In between lies an enriching journey through the spectrum of instrumental rock, variously recalling Vangelis, Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk with a few Middle Eastern flavours thrown in for good measure.

Unfailingly lush and consistently extraordinary, History of the Future more than lives up to its grandiose title, eclipsing all but the cream of its creators’ previous work.

Reproduced with permission of Herald & Times Group.