Release Date: Mar 31, 2017
Record label: Ghostly International
Genre(s): Electronic, Techno, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Ambient Techno
Will Wiesenfeld, best known for his multi-layered experimentalism as Baths, changes tack with his Geotic alias to produce an album of sonic simplicity that still reaches impressive depths. The combination of restrained vocals and bleeping pads usher in a sense of warmth on 'Actually Smiling' and there are washes of strings and flurries of hi-hats on 'Sunspell', as Wiesenfeld creates an LP that's calming and kaleidoscopic in colour. Keys echo beneath the pulses of 'Nav', while his falsetto reaches into your psyche on 'Laura Corporal'.
Abysma is the Ghostly International debut from Will Wiesenfeld, a Los Angeles native who is best known for his hip-hop-influenced electro-pop releases on Anticon under the name Baths, but has actually been more prolific under his ambient-leaning project Geotic. Prior to Abysma, all of Geotic's recordings were self-released digital affairs, and they ranged from field recordings to loop-based drone pieces to atmospheric lo-fi indie pop. Abysma is a full-length venture into ambient techno, a direction Wiesenfeld hinted at with the title track of Baths' 2014 EP Ocean Death.
Fans might recognize the Geotic moniker as that of Will Wiesenfeld, the Los Angeles producer who's spent the last several years releasing under the name Baths. Wiesenfeld has stated the contrast between Baths and Geotic is that the former is meant for active listening, while the latter is made for a more passive experience -- and passive exactly describes Abysma, his latest release as Geotic. There's nothing showy or flashy, nothing that even really stands out.
Will Wiesenfeld makes much of referring to his Geotic project as “passive listening”, in contrast to the more “active” material he produces as Baths. Abysma, Wiesenfeld’s latest Geotic release, incorporates the conventions of dance music into a more intimate, muted setting, overlaying hushed techno beats with washes of chilled-out synths. Though in another setting the beats might argue otherwise, this is indeed music better suited to sipping tea or getting a massage than it is to partying or even moving much at all.