Music

Geotic Is Inspired by the Transportive Power of Music on 'Traversa'

Photo courtesy of Ghostly International

Geotic's Traversa is a vividly inventive album with bold use of sonic textures and full of gleaming hooks. Traversa is certainly a journey worth taking.

Traversa
Geotic

Ghostly International

19 October 2018

Whether it be to escape old experiences or to embrace new ones, travel exposes people to novel environments, stimulates their curiosity and challenges them to think differently. In that way, music and travel are very similar, with both sharing a transportive ability to lead the listener to an unfamiliar destination with the journey being wholly different for every person undertaking it.

For Will Wiesenfeld (aka Geotic), the transportive power of music served as the inspiration behind new album Traversa. Each song on the follow up to his Abysma album translates as a snippet from a very personal musical travel log with him able to evoke the feelings and memories of every journey traveled and new destination reached.

Opener "Knapsack" begins with playful bleeps and glitches that ripple outwards joined by gleaming, bright synths and a steady beat. Sharing a similar aesthetic to Postal Service's "Such Great Heights", Wiesenfeld crafts a rich, electropop soundscape with a catchy synth hook sweeping through it. His soft voice drifts through the song, rarely raised above a whisper but its light, laid-back air is deceptive. On closer inspection there is a bitter-sweetness to the lyrics as he looks to pack up and escape, knowing that he can't stay where he is any longer. ("Somewhere I might be / A modern human being / But not here").

"Swiss Bicycle" is a wonderfully realized mix of electronics and organic instrumentation. Lead by a playful synth loop that seems to be actively running from the sweeping strings that trail it, Wiesenfeld cleverly teases out a hypnotic groove that can't help but raise a smile. The densely layered synths of "Harbor Drive" are spliced with a slightly off-kilter piano motif that glitters against the sound of water. Featuring smooth harmonies that float like warm breath in the early evening sky, Wiesenfeld again creates a real sense of dizzying, wonder.

"Aerostat" is one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful things he has ever recorded. With gentle exhales of synths like nebulous clouds that gather then dissipate like smoke, Wiesenfeld's voice coils itself gently around the music with a fragility that suggest it might simply evaporate. It feels like a heart-wrenchingly personal song as he sounds only just able to voice his hurt on lovelorn lines like "and I let you go" and "I Love you more / Than you will ever know."

The more urgent "Town Square" opens with a rolling beat that quickens into step, embellished by a looping synth line and twinkling notes that rise like burning embers from a freshly extinguished fire. Again, Wiesenfeld layers in sweeping strings that give it real emotional resonance. "Terraformer" rides a wave of colorful hooks with each one subtly binding together.

"Gondolier" could be the soundtrack to the safest, most relaxing dream you've ever had. Airy electropop synth lines compliment each other as light strings glide in and out on a hook-filled, radiant stream. Album closer "Maglev" weaves in synth runs that burst like fireworks, sumptuous strings and the distant pop of percussion. The whole thing builds to a blooming, field of sound with each element caught in a harmonious dance before backing away on a spellbinding end to the album.

Traversa feels like an album with the details still be discovered. Details that can only be fully realized in the mind of the listener as they embark on a journey with Wiesenfeld with the destination as yet to be decided. Musically, it is a vividly inventive album with bold use of sonic textures and full of gleaming hooks. Traversa is certainly a journey worth taking.

From Your Site Articles
Related Articles Around the Web
8


Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Film

Buridan's Ass and the Problem of Free Will in John Sturges' 'The Great Escape'

Escape in John Sturge's The Great Escape is a tactical mission, a way to remain in the war despite having been taken out of it. Free Will is complicated.

Books

The Redemption of Elton John's 'Blue Moves'

Once reviled as bloated and pretentious, Elton John's 1976 album Blue Moves, is one of his masterpieces, argues author Matthew Restall in the latest installment of the 33 1/3 series.

Music

Whitney Take a Master Class on 'Candid'

Although covers albums are usually signs of trouble, Whitney's Candid is a surprisingly inspired release, with a song selection that's eclectic and often obscure.

Music

King Buzzo Continues His Reign with 'Gift of Sacrifice'

King Buzzo's collaboration with Mr. Bungle/Fantômas bassist Trevor Dunn expands the sound of Buzz Osborne's solo oeuvre on Gift of Sacrifice.

Music

Jim O'Rourke's Experimental 'Shutting Down Here' Is Big on Technique

Jim O'Rourke's Shutting Down Here is a fine piece of experimental music with a sure hand leading the way. But it's not pushing this music forward with the same propensity as Luc Ferrari or Derek Bailey.

Music

Laraaji Returns to His First Instrument for 'Sun Piano'

The ability to help the listener achieve a certain elevation is something Laraaji can do, at least to some degree, no matter the instrument.

Music

Kristin Hersh Discusses Her Gutsy New Throwing Muses Album

Kristin Hersh thinks influences are a crutch, and chops are a barrier between artists and their truest expressions. We talk about life, music, the pandemic, dissociation, and the energy that courses not from her but through her when she's at her best.

Music

The 10 Best Fleetwood Mac Solo Albums

Fleetwood Mac are the rare group that feature both a fine discography and a successful series of solo LPs from their many members. Here are ten examples of the latter.

Music

Jamila Woods' "SULA (Paperback)" and Creative Ancestry and Self-Love in the Age of "List" Activism

In Jamila Woods' latest single "SULA (Paperback)", Toni Morrison and her 1973 novel of the same name are not static literary phenomena. They are an artist and artwork as galvanizing and alive as Woods herself.

Film

The Erotic Disruption of the Self in Paul Schrader's 'The Comfort of Strangers'

Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers presents the discomfiting encounter with another —someone like you—and yet entirely unlike you, mysterious to you, unknown and unknowable.

Music

'Can You Spell Urusei Yatsura' Is a Much Needed Burst of Hopefulness in a Desultory Summer

A new compilation online pulls together a generous helping of B-side action from a band deserving of remembrance, Scotland's Urusei Yatsura.

Music

Jess Cornelius Creates Tautly Constructed Snapshots of Life

Former Teeth & Tongue singer-songwriter Jess Cornelius' Distance is an enrapturing collection of punchy garage-rock, delicate folk, and arty synthpop anthems which examine liminal spaces between us.

Books

Sikoryak's 'Constitution Illustrated' Pays Homage to Comics and the Constitution

R. Sikoryak's satirical pairings of comics characters with famous and infamous American historical figures breathes new and sometimes uncomfortable life into the United States' most living document.

Music

South African Folk Master Vusi Mahlasela Honors Home on 'Shebeen Queen'

South African folk master Vusi Mahlasela pays tribute to his home and family with township music on live album, Shebeen Queen.

Music

Planningtorock Is Queering Sound, Challenging Binaries, and Making Infectious Dance Music

Planningtorock emphasizes "queering sound and vision". The music industry has its hierarchies of style, of equipment, of identities. For Jam Rostron, queering music means taking those conventions and deliberately manipulating and subverting them.

Music

'History Gets Ahead of the Story' for Jazz's Cosgrove, Medeski, and Lederer

Jazz drummer Jeff Cosgrove leads brilliant organ player John Medeski and multi-reed master Jeff Lederer through a revelatory recording of songs by William Parker and some just-as-good originals.

Books

A Fresh Look at Free Will and Determinism in Terry Gilliam's '12 Monkeys'

Susanne Kord gets to the heart of the philosophical issues in Terry Gilliam's 1995 time-travel dystopia, 12 Monkeys.

Music

The Devonns' Debut Is a Love Letter to Chicago Soul

Chicago's the Devonns pay tribute the soul heritage of their city with enough personality to not sound just like a replica.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.