M. Geddes Gengras
I Am The Last of That Green and Warm-Hued World
As has so often been the case across, particularly, the last half decade I turn to ambient music as conciliatory device; a balm. The tonic. Its often distinct ‘uneasy listening’ aspects helping to calm, to galvanise, and if not to prepare than at the very least to offer soundtrack (if not actual solace).
It’s an unsteady, uncertain time and about all any of us are offering is lip-service. But the synth washes, moods and modes of M. Geddes Gengras could be a lifeline.
There’s something strangely calming and unsettling about many of the best moments on these elongated pieces. The album running nearly 90 minutes as 15-20 minute pieces bubble and jar(re) in the background.
Apparently the big source of influence for this project is Stephen King’s novel, The Gunslinger. There’s certainly an apocalyptic-type feel to Cellar / Oracle and to the way the music falls away as its being compiled later in the opening track, Zoltan.
Synth-pads make moments that merge with pre-pulse techno and what feels, at times, like brief vestiges of nature field recordings. But this is ambient impurity, this is the digital age. And this daze of music percolates over profoundly creepy sound-design. Think Tim Hecker at times (Passages Under The Mountains).
It’s a soundscape that could be soundtracking some inner monologue, either profound thoughts of peace or the strewn chaos of the soul. Either way this is my new favourite. A gold-standard in this field. In this area (and era?) of music.
Closer, The Drawing, unfolds slowly over 22 minutes, its own form of asmr for the worrying minds and troubled souls of this day and age. It’s like a babysitter for our confused and bruised spirit. There’s a happiness in this music. But you can never quite reach it. It’s only ever hinted at. And that’s all we deserve.
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