|Add Date:||2017-04-12|| ||Pull Date:||2017-06-14|| ||Charts:||RPM/Electronica|
|Week Ending:||16 Apr|
Genre: dance-pop, house, ambient|
Abysma is the newest release from Geotic, the ambient-leaning side-project of Will Wiesenfeld (Baths). Will differentiates the Geotic and Baths projects as “passive-listening” and “active listening,” respectively––I think this distinction can be slightly misleading, though, since Abysma has enough detail meticulously packed into it that it nearly feels like a new Baths record to me. Although these songs are more minimal, straightforward, restrained, & instrumental than most music under the Baths moniker, they have both a playfulness that evokes Will's Cerulean-era work and a precision of production matching that of Obsidian & Ocean Death. Abysma also contains the danciest stuff Will has put out under the Geotic alias––all the songs sit near typical house tempos––yet the album's pervading tone is of serenity and solitude. This is dance music for a peaceful night at home.
Related: Baths, Kiasmos, Jon Hopkins
Recommended: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8
1. (4:53) Sunspell **** – Processed drumkit house beat. Placid & relaxing chord pad followed by pulses of bass rippling outwards. Arrangement gets denser with faster hi-hats and emotional cello swells as song progresses. Sunny but also a bit somber.
2. (4:54) Actually Smiling **** – Snappy, clicky, and muted drums in a four on the floor house beat. Low, rounded synth chords that jitter distractedly every 3 beats, creating an interesting offset from the drums. Occasional “yoooh doo do” nonsense vocals in trademark Baths falsetto. Mellow but has a lot of confident momentum. Charismatic!
3. (5:29) Nav **** – Shuffling, swung drum machine beat & minor piano arrangement that remind me a bit of Kiasmos. Syncopated synth chords ring and decay like a bell. Sparsely throughout are some lower chest vocals from Will (words) and some falsetto vocals, too (maybe not words). Really cool momentary beat drop at 2:20 where the chord progression changes to be a little more optimistic for a minute. Cloudy!
4. (4:57) Billionth Remnant *** – Steady, precise, sometimes overlapping hi-hats. A sort of friendly snare sound that occasionally repeats and pans around. Sparse and soft piano melody. Spacey but withdrawn synth pads bleed into each other (sounds almost Eno-y). The highest Will Falsetto you could possibly imagine!
5. (5:04) Laura Corporeal ** – Curt muted synth plucks. Atmospheric pad swells and a background synth melody with a bit of a digital buzz. More "yo da doh" nonsense falsetto. Fades out. Feels like a really mellow ride on a Tron bike.
6. (4:36) Vaulted Ceiling, Painted Sky ** – Four on the floor kick and shuffling hats paired with what almost sounds like a harpsichord being played underwater. Cello swells in the second half. More mysterious than the other songs. Cavernous!
7. (7:10) Perish Song *** – Rolling thumpy kicks, aimless and expressive piano melody, and airy synth pad swells that ebb like rolling ocean waves. Gentle Will falsetto (words!!) that describe a peaceful scene near the water and perfectly match the song's mood.
8. (5:22) Valiance **** – Bright percussion. Humming synth chords that pulsate rhythmically. Emotive cello melody that glides around and almost acts like a substitute to Will's atmospheric vox (which are missing in this song). Lots of mid & high register synth layers build into an unstoppable momentum until the song ends abruptly on the final beat. Joyful!