M. Geddes Gengras - Expressed, I Noticed Silence (Orange Color Tape)
Over the last decade, M. Geddes Gengras has released an enormous catalog of wide-ranging, synth-focused music in both solo and collaborative settings. He has participated in influential experimental groups like Sun Araw, Pocahaunted, Robedoor, and Akron/Family. Expressed, I Noticed Silence, Gengras’s third release on Hausu Mountain, exemplifies Gengras’s penchant for constant self-reinvention and genre-defiant exploration within a catalog whose every release carries his essence as a composer and synthesist while surging forward into new ideas and territories. With Gengras’s slowly unfurling ambient landscapes and his signature approach to rhythms animated by cyclical basslines and the layering of high-definition synth voices, Expressed, I Noticed Silence builds on the precedents set by his recent output while digging deeper into melodic sculpting and lush harmonic architectures than ever before. The presence of Gengras’s brother Cyrus Gengras (who has worked with artists like Kevin Morby, Amen Dunes, and Jessica Pratt) on electric guitar, casting off glistening lead melodies and webs of clean-toned arpeggios, cements the connection to the delay-drenched guitar work of precedents like Manuel Göttsching and Robert Fripp. The album’s zoned atmospheres and slow-building tiers of synth call to mind the interplanetary explorations of astral electronic music composers like Klaus Schulze, Michael Stearns, and John Serrie. More than anything in Gengras’s recent catalog, Expressed, I Noticed Silence continues along the arc of more modern post-kosmiche contemporaries including Emeralds, Bitchin Bajas, and Hausu Mountain label-mate Pulse Emitter. The album testifies to M. Geddes Gengras’s skill not only as a sculptor of tone and texture, but as a storyteller in the medium of electronic music — using the tools at his disposal to conjure complex moods and emotional spaces that lay out vistas looking across zones that approach the distant horizon.