Sebastian Palomar has a simple mission: to teach the world to love swimming. Less a record and more a multimedia self-help project, Palomar brings a maniacal enthusiasm to his subject matter on this compilation of his finest work, re-casting your municipal lido as Transcendent Oasis and the art of bilateral breathing as tantric bliss.
This is music as surrealist self-medication, rippling with insistent mantras of aquatherapy and urban escape. London-based but sado-masochistically itinerant, Seb's quoted references take in the music of Popol Vuh and Seefeel to the literature of Iris Murdoch (The Sea, The Sea) and wider phenomena such as Scientology, early 90s corporate culture and ideological phoney-ism (Yuri Geller is sampled on several occasions!). Earning coverage from BBC 6 Music, The Wire, Dazed & Confused and Vice, Palomar's debut, "The Physical and Emotional Benefits of Swimming", was the record that launched a thousand amateur hipster swimmers, briefly leaving Soho's Marshall Street Baths with a major beard-blockage issue.
Sebastian returned with a five-track EP that plays out like an extended love letter to (cult US cosmologist / scientific galactico) Carl Sagan. Aspects of Palomar's signature sound remain, all whirlpooled drum patterns and bobbing, partially submerged synths, but the new material is shot through with an awkward pop sub-conscious - basslines stolen from Aaliyah, leads ripped from Ace of Base (!), Bollywood mantra lost and found. Drenched, re-configured and tumble-dried, there is a new accessibility to Sebastian's medium - even if his message remains. The provincial domesticity of the local swimming bath is left behind as Sebastian shoots instead for the stars, crawling oceans and galaxies in search of his own surrealist self-medication. "What You Resist, Persists," cries our returning hypnotherapist, and who are we to disagree with his latest batch of medicine?
"The Very Best of Sebastian Palomar" has been newly remastered and sequenced for release on Kit, and includes a rare remix by Sebastian. You can read an extensive interview between Seb and Kit founder Richard Greenan HERE.