Under the Water PantaleimonUnder the Water
  1. Under The Water

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Date : December 19, 2006


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“Here’s a gorgeous one-sided single. ‘Under The Water’ is an alternate version of a song scheduled for release on an upcoming solo LP, and it’s a brilliant, mystical breath of air of pure longing. The lyrics are simply structured and circular, the music is a mix of accoustic plucks and drones, and the mood is wonderfully doleful. Nice package too.”


“Be careful : this is a one sided shine-thru single ; -I didn‚t see it at first and was also playing the drawing on the other side-. The only track is a beautiful meditation expressed by a droning harmonium, a minor key bouzouki, and voice, singing and playing as if showing the energy of a shining treasure under water, showing a glimpse of eternity, beautiful and eternal, with a nature that would disappear and becomes an illusion once you would bring the object out of the water. Beautiful.”


“Under the Water’ is a rather dark song, with a contemplative, sad melody played on bouzouki. This accompanies Andria’s frail voice, singing about what lies hidden under the water. Treasure, light… This track, though simple, is very good, and it promises much good for the upcoming album.

There’s also a reason why there’s only one track on this 7″. This is the first in a special series by BlueSanct, consisting of 7″ singles with an art print on the B-side. ‘Under the Water’ has a stylised sun drawing by Andria herself, who also drew the picture for the front cover. Combined with the clear vinyl, this makes the 7″ very attractive, but the downside is of course that it’s rather short in terms of listening pleasure. Nevertheless, this release isn’t expensive, and definitely worth it for fans of Pantaleimon or Current 93, and dark folk lovers.”


“Pantaleimon is in reality a solo project for Andria Degens, named after a russian-orthodox saint with curing abilities. Degens has worked as Pantaleimon for quite a few years, but the releases have been few: one album, one ep and appearing on the soundtrack for the movie Wild Tigers I Have Known by Cam Archer, as well as appearing on Current 93’s masterpiece, Black Ships Ate the Sky.
Even though Pantaleimon are probably unknown to most, Degens is something of a veteran on the alternative music scene: she has appeared on the artist Susan Stenger’s Soundtrack for an Exhibition, and has collaborated and played live with artists such as Nurse With Wound, Bonnie Prince Billy, Matt Sweeney, Antony & the Johnsons, Six Organs of Admittance, Sixteen Horsepower and Baby Dee. Before Pantaleimon she’s worked with Dirty Three and Wire, so even though she may not be well-known, she’s quite respected by other artists.

All I’ve heard of Pantaleimon’s work has been of a remarkably high quality, and I’ve therefore been quite irritated by the long wait for new material. Now, however, this is about to change, since 2007 will see both a new EP (Cloudburst, which was, in fact released late 2006 in an extremely limited print) and a full length. Meanwhile, one can spend the long wait with this single, which was recorded late 2005, but has not been released until now.

Under the Water is a one-sided single, released in Bluesanct’s 7″-series, where the likes of, among others, Mount Eerie have contributed. The concept is that the artist provides one track, while there is what the record company calls a picture of the song on the b-side.

The artwork of the single is unusually beautiful. It’s on transparent vinyl with painted patterns in silver and blue on the empty side, and silver on the label on the side which contains Under the Water. The cover is deliciously printed on high-quality paper.

The song itself is relatively short (3 1/2 minute), but manages, in spite of the short playing time to create a trance-like effect created by a minimalistic bouzouki melody and a harmonica drone. Degens’ vocal take alternates between clear pregnancy (not as in having a child inside one’s stomach, but as significance) and ghost like transparency in the both introvert and nursery rhyme-like lyric, which, like Pantaleimon’s music itself, utilizes repetition of simple and clear motives to great effect. The song touches eternity while it lasts.

I doubt that Under the Water will sell much outside of people who are already fans of Pantaleimon, or who are vinyl collectors. However, I strongly encourage you to give it a chance. In spite of short playing time, it’s well worth the money, both the music and the artwork, and gives great promise for the forthcoming Pantaleimon releases. I won’t grade it though, since one short song isn’t quite enough to grade it. But if I had tt would have been a high one.”


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