Geskia!
Silent of Light


4.5
superb

Review

by Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (105 Reviews)
March 12th, 2013 | 41 replies


Release Date: 03/06/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Vibrant/ Experimental/ Electronic/ Japan

Amidst crazy dash-cam videos and the introduction of tentacles to all kinds of unholy places, Western culture is now well accustomed to looking east in order to fulfil its taboo-defying quota. When it comes to music, it should therefore be of no surprise to discover no one experiments quite like they do in the east. Russia’s usually a pretty safe bet, with Volor Flex kicking up a dubstep storm very recently, but anyone after the real hard *** will want to go further: they’ll want to go to Japan.

Japan’s currently enjoying a healthy presence in electronic genres often passed over here in the West for more urban strains like hip-hop or garage, and their cultural heritage often adds a unique twist to the sounds they dabble in. Even Japanese ambient often struggles to escape from the bright, sharp tones of their traditional music. As a result of this influence, the experimental music of Japan tends to possess a vibrancy absent in Western counterparts. Readers are encouraged to check out Himuro Yo***eru’s Our Turn Anytime as a primary example.

Geskia(!) fits into all this from an unusual angle. Originally a breakbeat producer, he mellowed out quite unexpectedly last year with Muon: an uncharacteristically calm ambient/ glitch album which proved to be characteristically outstanding (#37 of 2012, no less). Silent of Light is a step back in the other direction and towards this cultural vibrancy mentioned earlier. The delicate touch is still present in the outstanding production and soundscapes, but within this landscape roars a metallic monstrosity spewing a complementary torrent of glitch, industrial and beats. The end result is playful and organic with a satisfying, mechanical crunch.

Percussion in Silent of Light borrows heavily from Geskia’s western IDM counterparts Autechre as it clatters, scatters and skips across the soundstage, though with a happier step. In “National Tradition” and elsewhere throughout the album, it takes on melodic attributes to handle a more prominent role, as well as fading into vague impressions of beats in other areas to accompany dreamier, synth-led interludes. It’s a snapshot of the versatility of the album, which can see quick switches from piano leads to glitch and vocal sample madness to calm and pretty bleeps and bloops. However, while the intensity can vary dramatically the percussion remains the key driving force of the album: occupying the space often reserved for bass in contemporary western music.

If percussion is the engine -the modified machine begging to be revved- then the surrounding chassis is made up of the myriad subtleties in Geskia’s hypothetical musical vehicle. The making of Silent of Light is in its attention to detail, and the textures, echoes and drives of distortion transform a great album into an outstanding one. Sitting in a quiet room with headphones on displays just how many dozens of layers there are in his onion-like production. “Dis Love,” for instance, is saturated with vocal samples from beginning to end but avoids becoming overbearing by scattering them between sound channels and splicing them with separate instrumentation.

It’s easy forget the simple melodies presiding over the complexity. Geskia knows how to draw people in, and the initial attraction acts as the perfect sliproad to a highway of sound. These melodies often come in the form of clean, chirpy moog notes or more heavily distorted string progressions. While individually these may sound quite fragile, they’re held up by the sheer bulk of sound supporting them. Happily, however, the melodies restrain themselves from becoming too optimistic or drawing attention away from the more interesting aspects of Silent of Light .

The careful balance between melody, complexity and percussion results in a fantastically well produced album: one in which every sound is allowed to breathe and contribute to the combined total. After an album such as Silent of Light, the claim on his website that “Geskia is undoubtedly the master of Japanese underground hip-hop and breakbeats” doesn’t seem nearly as far fetched.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Long review, but fuck me this is good.

Original: http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_HE3Oat2zM

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013


7432 Comments


I always feel inclined to check out the stuff you hype up on the off-chance they're not completely beyond my mental capacity.

Brilliant review, as ever.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks, man. For a full dose of hype from me I'd wait for the Q1 list - 2013's been very kind to me.

mindleviticus
March 12th 2013


8339 Comments


Awesome review, dawg. I liked Muon kind of

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013


7432 Comments


Haha I always try to check out the things that crop up on those. My year has been pretty average so far but things have picked up nicely in March.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lots of good new stuff to come as well. Mostly the new Daughter, as by all accounts it seems to be incredible.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

and Mindy, it's not like Muon at all really :P

Azn.
March 12th 2013


5618 Comments


"Amidst crazy dash-cam videos and the introduction of tentacles to all kinds of unholy places"

lol'd moderately hard

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013


6515 Comments


Glad to see you got contrib status!

Saw this on Nodata, so maybe I should get it, based on your hyperbole. ;]

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 12th 2013


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

*hyperbole away!*

Definitely get it, it's a fantastic record.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 13th 2013


4958 Comments


nice review

WashboardSuds
March 13th 2013


5043 Comments


getting

Digging: Zodiac (VASE) - Zodiac

IAMERROR
March 13th 2013


219 Comments


Glare Trigger is an amazing track. I need to listen to this a few hundred times to really let it sit in. Maybe on a lengthy midnight drive.

Rev
March 13th 2013


9441 Comments


remind me to check this out

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2013


24110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol the summary was enough to sell me, honestly

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2013


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I put a lot of work into it.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2013


24110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

review has me more excited. I've been looking for some good breakbeat stuff lately, and you say he's returned to that kind of glitch approach with this one?

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 13th 2013


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Definitely, though in some places more than others. It's very colourful glitch though, so not sure if it will quite scratch a breakbeat itch.

YankeeDudel
March 13th 2013


9313 Comments


sounds coo

Digging: Land Of Kush - Against The Day

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 13th 2013


4958 Comments


sounds like a good "other" album



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