By Monk Waugh
NagMet’s Water is Conscience is a record that Mangalores from The Fifth Element would love. “Experimental” doesn’t really capture what Daniel J. Harris and Nico Jongenelen are doing here. They seem to be pushing the listener to form an opinion. Pushing for a fight or a f*ck.
Water is Conscience’s spoken word, synth, FX, percussive shockwaves, and free association will make you feel like you’re hanging out at Dennis Hopper’s house in the ‘70s. I’m left with a feeling of loving it and kind of being freaked out by it at the same time, but I won’t stop talking about it anytime soon.
One thing is for certain, I’ve listened to all 24 tracks several times. That’s what controversial art will do to the brain. You want to return to the scene of the crime to see for yourself, or you’re chasing the high of that first time, that first experience.
I’m not sure if track 5 “But… He’s Naked” is homophobic. I hope it’s not because that would kill the whole thing for me. But that track aside, there’s so much to take in, you’d need a brand new drug to parse out all the meanings, intentional or not.
*Update: Daniel Harris reached out to us and assured us that neither he nor Nico Jongenelen were homophobic. He puts the lyrics/spoken word of the track down to Nico’s English as a second language. Harris and Jongenelen are open hearted and minded. Whew. Glad we cleared that one up.
Commentary records are a specific taste. The bitter melon of music. The blood sausage. You have to appreciate art, indie art house film, and have traveled a bit to have commentary and experimental records in your collection. If you own experimental vinyl (no matter where you live or what you’ve done), well, you are way too freaking cool for anyone around you.
I appreciate what Harris and Jongenelen have done here. Some of the tracks feel like they were designed with work put in. Others just seem throw away with too much reliance on throat singing. I’m sure I’d get slugged, verbally or physically, if the band and I were sitting in a locked room. But, hey, that’s just like one reviewer’s opinion, man.
Like all bold music, I don’t ask you to take my word for it. I encourage you to listen to it and make your own decision. NagMet’s Water is Conscience is certainly galvanizing and its own beast. You gotta respect that.
Water is Conscience Tracklisting
2. The Thought
3. Fasten Your Seat Beats
4. Baby Bus
5. But… He’s Naked
6. Elbows On High
8. Musical Krankzinnig
9. 4:42 am Blues
11. Have a Wet Day
12. The Water Says “It’s Thirsty”
13. Time & Less
14. Ha-PP-PP-PP-PP-PP-y (10 ways to make yourself happy)
15. Ger Of TI
16. The Swing
18. My Favorite Blanket
20. Duck Taon Trace
22. 7 Hour Secret
23. Untied Shoe Tappin’ Toe Trip
24. Electric Water