“The Russian Submarine” C26
(Gertrude Tapes)

Tracking a Russian submarine on its final mission before its ultimate destruction could go a bunch of ways. You’ve see The Hunt for Red October, you know how the whole thing could play out. Could being the operative word, assuming, of course, that the titular Russian submarine here was going to defect. Let’s not assume that. The first main difference is that the Russian sub’s captain is probably not Scottish. Second, there’s a distinct lack of onboard gunplay. Third, Das Torpedoes, the artist not actual torpedoes, is the one who’s gonna tell us when and how this episode ends. The music, ambient passages only, carries with it a lovely introspective quality, which, when juxtaposed with the idea of the final days of a submarine crew, infuses the listening experience with a heavy dose of melancholy. So no, this is not a Hollywood visualization of dramatic events but is instead a decidedly un-blow-uppy world built within your imagination. There are goodbyes, the sub leaving port, submergence, internalization, emergency (still, no klaxons or anything), a letter written home, and a finality of the voyage throughout these six tracks. It’s all rendered in such placid textures and tones. I can only imagine the torpedoes, Das Torpedoes brand, with sudden finality ending the lives of the crew in a swift and senseless fashion, ratcheting up the sadness that I can no longer keep at bay within my own body. Oh the humanity! I didn’t sign up for this kind of emotional depth charge today. I had such grand intentions, so much to do, now my plans are totally tanked, along with my attitude, victims of my soul-crushing empathy toward those poor Russian sailors.

Anyhoo, I’ll get over it.

Gertrude Tapes

-- Ryan Masteller