After a brief set of instructions—"press this button for help," "try not to get the water in your eyes"—and a shower, I was left to lower myself into the tank and seal the pod. Rather than a warm embrace, initial contact with the water was spiky as the salt solution seeped into cuts and scratches. I'd been supplied with a pair of waterproof headphones but before Coracle began there was a ten-minute period of silence in the interests of acclimatisation. This was among the more intriguing parts of the experience. As my mind and body tried to makes sense of this new environment, the sensation of movement became greatly exaggerated. A quick flick of a hand gave the impression of a substantial shift in position; at one point I felt as though the bottom of the pod had somehow opened, leaving me to drift off into the London sewage system.
Opening track "Into Our Midst" brought my mind partway back to normality. Its introductory washes of synthesis were welcoming, yet even its moderately paced drums felt hectic given the situation. As with the UK duo's eponymous debut, Krautrock quickly revealed itself as key influence. First single "Sunporch" (track three of eight) took things up a notch via insistent arpeggios and strung-out guitars. Yet it was at this stage I somehow fell asleep. Startled by the arrival of the next track, I awoke confused and sweating, thrashing around in the darkness in search of the light. Calmed as the track ("Il Desco") broke down, I attempted to recompose myself and settle. The quivering "Vacant" and the soaring "Raw Umber/Twilight" slid in promisingly, but I struggled to embrace the message, unable to relinquish the banalities of everyday thought.
Then something clicked. I'm not sure if it was the dawn-like nature of penultimate track "Ecstatic Truth" or my brain simply boring itself into submission but the whole thing suddenly began to make sense. The track did build to a steady kick, but this time it pinned me to the water. "Drunken Galleon," the album's twinkling final flutter, was the loveliest moment of all. Despite my fumbling mind and assessment of floatation and Coracle, I'd recommend them both. Just try to clear your mind beforehand.