RELEASED: January 1, 1997
ARTIST: Amoeba
LABEL: Lektronic Soundscapes (reissued by Release)
Amoeba: Watchful

Robert Rich is joined by guitarist Rick Davies to produce some of the most soothing meloncholy music around.
– Outburn

A superb and unusual album that mesmerizes and engulfs. Rated 5/5, “Essential”
– Mark Burby, Alternative Press

Haunting, beautiful work. . . relaxed but carefully detailed, hypnotic, melodic, a bit melancholy. . . I recommend it.
– Brent Wilcox, Strange Attractors

Hauntingly elegant. . . Dreamscapes dissolve into nightmares from which you can’t awaken, perhaps because you really don’t wish to.
– NAPRA review

Do not expect this music to lull you, for it has a sneaky edge that creeps out when you least expect. . . Very recommended. – Matt Howarth, Post Brothers



Alternative Press, Review by Mark Burbey
(rated 5/5, “Essential”):

Amoeba is something very new and different from ambient sound sculptor Robert Rich, but judging from past conversations with him about his musical tastes and influences, it’s not wholly unexpected. Collaborating with Rich is guitarist Rick Davies, and together the duo have arrived at something sounding vaguely like Robert Wyatt on Valium: music for life-weary somnambulists. Embracing the meloncholy that lingers just beyond the thin veil of hope, the songs on Watchful linger in the netherworld of sinking memory and damaged dreams.

Though describing one song would be like describing a single button on a very interesting sweater, “Footless” is a spellbinding drift, floating through fathomless corridors of lost connections. Hans Christian’s cello adds an especially haunting touch to this and two other cuts. “Ignoring Gravity” is even more ghostly, as if one’s soul were disintegrating cell by cell. Don Swanson (of the L.A.-based art-rock ensemble The Telling) provides unobtrusive snare and cymbal. “Desolation” lives down to its title, leading us by the hand through a damp cave of uncertainty. The entire album seems to be a journey down the black waters of an unraveling psyche, and unless you’re someone who needs to drink your coffee in a happy face mug, you might be able to relate.

In addition to his usual idiosyncratic virtuosity on synth, winds, steel guitar and percussion, Rich ventures onto the delicate limb of vocals and succeeds nicely, sounding much like a man who has just left his body. Davies’ acoustic and electric guitars mingle, propel and support Rich’s instruments and voice in perfect partnership. This is a superb and unusual album that mesmerizes and engulfs.

Design and photos by John Bergin

Track List

Inside 4:58
Skin 2:54
Origami 2:09
Footless 5:12
Ignoring Gravity 7:22
Water Vapor 2:14
Desolation 4:40
Big Clouds 2:51
Saragossa 4:07
Any Other Sky 6:38
Watchful Eyes 5:18

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