Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Wondering if anyone's ever had a water torture go horribly wrong. Wondering if there have been folks who have been captured, believed to harbor some information that could be useful for the enemy combatants and the whole thing just backfired like it was nobody's business. What if, there they were, in the beautiful jungles of Saigon or some where equally as inspiring - when it's not being decimated or blown to smithereens - and here comes these droplets of water, perpetually, with a programmed interval, with the intention of making you crack. Now, I'm sure there are measures that can be taken to make sure that no one enjoys water torture and those measures are ALWAYS taken or else someone's losing their job, but let's just say that someone doesn't want to do their job that day and they decide to completely surprise the person who's supposed to be subjected to said torture.
What if they heat the water to a pleasant, drawn bath temperature and what if it starts falling the way that anyone would expect it to, but then - after a few minutes - becomes something very different. It becomes something like you'd expect at a salon or a spa, the water soothing, some hands running their fingers through the hair on your scalp, working the follicles and the skin, getting deep into the tissue. It's getting somewhere, fast and the person in that chair is beginning to think that this is their kind of a party. They've relaxed all of their muscles and they're just letting it take them away. I wonder how much better a water massage or a good hair washing would feel if you didn't have anywhere to be and you'd originally thought that you were set to experience some of the worst imaginable pain and suffering that you'd ever felt. It's something to continue wondering about as none of us will ever know, knock on wood.
The music of young Los Angeles-based DJ Henry Laufer, better known as Shlohmo, is the furthest thing from a trigger that makes a person think about torture, but it's SO, SO fucking soothing that it feels as if there's no way to arrive at that sensation unless the body was believing that it was going to be placed under the kind of duress that makes you lose consciousness and pass the hell out. You'd rather just let it happen and have no memory of it. But, with Shlohmo, these temperate conditions pass over us in glorious waves of oceanic laps, as if the big old, gentle lioness that is the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico were planning to lick your face joyfully raw. You can find yourself just submitting and you couldn't have thought that you'd ever be so refreshed as you are at the end of this surprise bath.