There’s a lofty ambiguity at the core of Eternal Ocean – a self described “multimedia platform that aims to foster sustainable careers for unique artists and showcase creative work that offers intimate and engaging sensory experience through tangible products and digital media.” At its most literal Eternal Ocean is a collaborative minded outlet for current and former New York based producers like Ronan, Telesalf, and DJ Temporary. Spearheaded by the Planet Euphorique alumni Ronan, Eternal Ocean seems to find its origins in the mid 2010s Ridgewood, Queens record studio and artist collective Felt Presence which has already produced one highly noteworthy compendium record via last year’s Felt Presence LP on Ann Arbor DIY juggernaut Vanity Press. That Felt Presence’s stated mission was an “aim to facilitate healing trance states through immersive sonic and visual environments” is deeply apparent in the twelve expert cuts that make up Plant Lyfe Vol. One; an engulfing collection of deeply carved cuts of dub techno, ominous breakbeat, and submarine techno.
Originally intended to be the debut release on Eternal Ocean back in 2018, Plant Lyfe Vol One could’ve easily made for three separate high quality releases as well. United by a particularly looming quality of aquatic dub, this compilation is comprised of three suites from collaborative teams Internal Transfer (Teleself & Ronan), Ceres (Acemo, Teleself & Ronan), and D.X.M. (DJ Temporary, Teleself & Ronan) respectively. Internal Transfer set the stage with overwhelming intention and poised follow through — lacing tracks like “Embodiment Exercise” and “Wave Progression” with a definite sense of buoyancy that turns otherwise standard lush breakbeat repetition and dub techno patterns into a presumably thundering club experience born from the palate of meditative calm. Restless techno cut “Climate Adjustment” provides respite through dubbed out wonk and diverse breakbeat based rhythms that is rich with texture and personality.
Some of the record’s most transcendent moments arrive on Ronan and Teleself’s Ceres collaborations with New York dance sire AceMo. As those two bring deft proficiency in sound design and tonal strength, Ace instills a live pulse capable of bringing the listener far from shore into uncharted waters filled with synth ripples and whip cracks. “Terre Vide” is pure live wire with a human touch to the mix that sets it apart while “Gorgon Tech”combines a beyond filtered house propulsion with techno dissonance drowned in thin, clear layers of wet dub. We rise from the underwater grave with “Smoke & Mirrors;” a highly textural soundtrack for an ayahuasca trip that makes way to stuttering cyborg cooing and begs to be played loud. This is just straight up fascinating music that stands out amongst AceMo’s already rich and diverse catalog.
Plant Life Vol. One closes out with its most lighthearted set of tracks courtesy of DJ Temporary’s addition to the duo as D.X.M. Bursts of dub bubbles float to the surface amid turntable scratches on “Where Are We Going?” Not sure who “Raveman” is but his featuring track “Rainbow Icicle” is a shade away from juke before mutating into stuttering electro house. The 16-bit rainforest of “Lavender Expression” makes for the only track that actually reminds me of plants on Plant Lyfe Vol One. Well non-psychedelic ones that is.