Balam Acab – “CLUB WATER DISCUS” EP Review

Balam Acab - Club Water Discus

Balam Acab – Club Water Discus
Genre – Electronic/Witch house

Label: N/A

Balam Acab is a fairly mysterious American electronic artist, who concentrates on thoughtful textures rather than simple catchy beats, similar to the persuasions of Four Tet and Burial, and has been building a steady reputation for himself over recent years. On previous releases like the full-length album “Wander/Wonder” and EP “See Birds”, Balam Acab showcased his abilities of creating beautiful harmonies – so much so that a complimentary pillow wouldn’t have gone amiss – as the music just lullabies you into euphoric relaxation.

So with that context in mind, it’s unsurprising that fans of the artist have been waiting impatiently for a new release since 2011’s “Wander/Wonder”, even with several remixes appearing on his official soundcloud… and what a disappointment “Club Water Discus” is.

First off: he has apparently announced two things about this unofficial release, the first being that the free EP was a result of “spending many months alone in an underwater hotel room in Dubai” and that it is “non-indicative of sound of future official releases”. Hopefully the latter is true, and the former wasn’t as bad as it sounded.

Fairyland feels nothing more than a 12-year-old’s pride of producing a barely-even-mediocre track out of Finding Nemo soundboards and an entry-level Yamaha keyboard. It begins with the standard shining melodies you’d expect from Balam Acab, but it’s soon destroyed by one sample of a whispered “welcome” and another which can only be described as hands wrestling an eel or… something you don’t want to imagine. The track also tries to experiment with trap music with some pitch-shifted vocals (à la A$AP Rocky) and repetitive beats.

The following track, Look, is the mental breakdown of its predecessor – more incoherent samples, beats and effects that lead to nowhere and just sounds like Keisha murmuring to herself while slamming a sample pad at random. Dolphinstomp isn’t so clustered with atrocities, but having a simple beat with a dolphin squealing is hardly redeeming – especially when the simple beat gets replaced by a trap beat you might expect Lil B to rap over.

The last two tracks are basically soundbites, which in consideration to the rest of the EP, is a godsend. Wannaseeu lasts for 2.15 minutes and Dubai Siren is even shorter, and neither come close to saving the EP. Admittedly, Wannaseeu is probably the most sensible out of all the tracks, sounding like a fairly likeable mix of trap and witch house, but it’s average at best, and Dubai Siren is simply the sound of water dripping off the side of some fountain with string samples underneath.

If Balam Acab is even 10% serious about this release, then I am missing or not taking something to understand why this is even worth putting on the internet… even for free. This is, as mentioned earlier, the work of a 12-year-old… and while for that age “Club Water Discus” might show some future promise, Balam Acab is not a 12-year-old. Balam Acab was an adult in Dubai, the 22nd most expensive city in the world, during the making of the EP.

Let’s just be thankful he’s not following this direction in the future.

0.1/10
Favourite tracks: None. Nada.

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12 thoughts on “Balam Acab – “CLUB WATER DISCUS” EP Review

  1. okcoolgoodneatswell says:

    well, thats just, like your opinion, bro

  2. you will never be an artist.

  3. glenn says:

    Who ever the fuck you are that wrote this review, you’re gonna get lit up so badly, you’ll be screaming for Balam Acab’s splashy sounds to douse your pathetic ass.

  4. yung netscape says:

    hahahahahahahah you think he was actually in dubai

    there is so much you don’t understand that it would take too long to address this review. just please know that you don’t get it, what balam was going for, what aesthetic this speaks to, or what community of people LOVES this ep.

    favorite quote from this article: “(à la A$AP Rocky)”

    • richreviewz says:

      Well, as far as I’ve read, the process for writing this material at least started while he was in Dubai?

      But tell me what I’m missing, because I genuinely don’t get how this EP is getting praise? Let me know, I’m interested!

      Even though I am pretty harsh here, I’m not making an attack on everything Balam Acab’s done – I enjoy his other releases and I saw him play in London at I’ll Be Your Mirror, which was a cool experience.

      Also, for all the other negative comments, no, I will never make music like Balam Acab has done – he’s done some pretty great stuff! Don’t you know music journalists are failed musicians? Don’t take my reviews too seriously.

      I am looking forward to the next release.

      • taylor00 says:

        This was mixtape of the year in my book man. Sampling dolphins, making your own pitch-shifted vocals, the mix of field recordings, ambience and hood music are just perfect. And honestly if he put this on physical I’d buy the shit out of it.

  5. recrev says:

    When I first heard this EP, it was first through finding Balam’s other soundcloud, Temporary Suicide. I didn’t know they were the same guy at first but later realized it. I immediately knew though that this wasn’t balam trying to give us some serious ultra professional releases. Or that this was what he was gonna sound like from now on (as he’s confirmed). He was definitely playing up the more experimental side of things, pushing the “slopped and wetted” nature to max levels of oddness.

    Before I knew it was balam, I was still really interested to see what was gonna be released. The tracks were so strange, water sounds slopped everywhere, abnormal beats, but somehow it still interested me. I thought it was fun free release, definitely not for everyone though. I can’t speak for what balams intentions where, but if u had been following since these tracks were first released on soundcloud, you’d kinda understand more about this particular sound and how it should be approached. Even the fact that I’m analyzing it now makes me sound dumb lol Not the point…

    • richreviewz says:

      Yeah, well from the comments I’d read by him on this EP, I knew this wasn’t going to be a permanent thing, but I felt like writing about it anyway – I just didn’t get why he’d put them up as ideas alone, they just didn’t seem thought out. And I hadn’t been following those lone releases, I guess maybe that would have given me some background. But still, I just didn’t get this EP at all, and I can’t be the only one to experience that. Maybe it was a wrong move on my part, but what’s done is done.

      I’m looking forward to his follow-up to “Wander/Wonder”. I appreciate your feedback!

  6. Looks like you pulled a Ktty Pryde hahaha

  7. brandlamm says:

    fuck you

  8. Jeff says:

    I’ve never seen more ridiculous fans than ones of Balam Acab. Holy shit. We get it, he’s young.. talented and makes great music. You leaches are unbearable though. Do you get mad everytime someone doesn’t agree with you? This album isn’t anything special, it’s free.. cool. Get over the negative review and stop acting like little children. Also Balam.. nobody cares about your k-pins and ecigs, cut it out.

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