Album Review

Scuba Death – Demon Seed (Semata, 2011)


Scuba DeathDripsweat

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It’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed anything from Semata, one of Boston’s top notch cool shit purveyors, even though they’ve put out some seriously fantastic albums. So why did I choose to review a record that’s technically a reissue? Because Demon Seed barely saw the light of day with it’s 40 tape run on YDLMIER (not that Semata’s 200 LP run is that much better), because it sounds disgustingly great on vinyl, and because it’s fucking INSANE.

Scuba Death is apparently a “mystery artist.” That’s a topic I don’t really want to get in to, I’ll save it for another post, but lets just say I don’t dig the whole “mystery” thing. An alias is fine, but especially in a place like Boston, it just seems a little ridiculous to put out an album and purposefully keep the identity secret. But whatever. It adds to the intrigue, I suppose. So let your imagination run wild with who Scuba Death actually is, I’ll take bets.

Demon Seed is a short, potent dose of grimy & grim electronics. 45 RPM, one song per side, you get almost 20 minutes of no nonsense destructive filth that sounds like your stereo is recovering from a trip to the acid sauna. Nothing about this record sounds “right,” it literally sounds like they fucked everything up, sent you a broken piece of wax, and your needle is caught in a steel wool loop. The electronics are beyond repair, failed industrial static that grates from lo-fi smoke drone to power surge blowouts to contact feedback glitch to panned jet engine horror. I hate the idea of stealing other people’s descriptions but Brad Rose fuckin nailed it on Twitter when he said “i have to keep double checking to make sure my turntable isn’t on fire or something.”

So, yeah, this is some unusually bizarro noise, but it’s also bleak as fuck. It sounds like it came from an acrid tomb, sealed away for a thousand sunless years, encrusted with dense layers of dust, past decay, and embracing all things deathly. This is black noise stemming from crumbling electronics and it fucking DESTROYS.

Scuba Death could be literally anyone and I wouldn’t care. It doesn’t matter. Demon Seed is a fucking beast and it’s a goddamn miracle that Semata sought to spread the noise. So what have we learned from all of this? 1: Your copy of Demon Seed is not defective. 2: Keep an eye on YDLMIER.