Aquarealm by X.Y.R.
Mind over matter music
Contrary to the ubiquitous mantra that the oceans are dying, full of plastic, deceit and greed, on his tenth album, Russian musician Vladimir Karpov chooses to celebrate the beauty that remains, even if it's inspired by vintage Soviet cartoons, nature documentaries and his own pet fish.
Like Techno and space, Ambient and water make fine bedfellows as a concept on which to build a narrative. Although not as explicit or arresting as Drexciya's underwater realms, Karpov guides the listener through magical fantasy worlds of aquatic colour and spectacle, not tethered to forms of nature and predation but not entirely surreal either. It's an evolving scene defined by air bubble arpeggios, submersive synths, rapturous sustained chords and deep diving melody; a 42 minute adventure, descending through seven realms, to realise our own watery nirvana.