Album of the Day: Geotic, “Abysma”

Will Wiesenfeld’s Geotic project has always been overshadowed by the maximalist melodies and lush electronic fields he creates as Baths. Geotic began as a foray into ambient soundscapes before evolving into what it is now: a minimalist dance project. As Wiesenfeld’s Baths project gets more and more popular, his work under Geotic feels more and more like an escape—a playground to test new waters and hone new skills.

Wiesenfeld’s first Geotic record, Eyes, is gorgeous, a collection of bedroom anthems stitched together through looped samples, electronics, and acoustic guitar—like Panda Bear’s Young Prayer meets The Field. Abysma, Wiesenfeld’s 12th release as Geotic finds the L.A.-based artist expanding the scope of what the Geotic project can be—essentially, sharply crafted intelligent dance music. Wiesenfeld’s early releases linked together found sounds with samples, creating a collage type atmosphere equal parts hypnotic and affecting in its play with melody. With Abysma, Wiesenfeld has created something far more focused on the nuances of dance music: the pulsing bass, the rise and fall surrounding a ‘drop,’ and the use of vocals to convey emotion.

Abysma opens with “Sunspell,” which uses lush synth swells and digital strings to recreate a quiet evening on the beach, while first single “Actually Smiling” is more suited for the dancefloor with a quietly pulsing low-end and delicately chopped vocals. “Laura Corporeal” takes a whack at trance music, spacey with synths atop a skittering beat. At Abysma’s core are Wiesenfeld’s own vocal parts as layered melodies atop each other.

Wiesenfeld has described Geotic as a passive listening experience in Abysma’s press release. He says the album exists as dance music to accompany solitary experiences. In this sense, the new album is in line with the core underpinnings of the Geotic project. Each of his records have insisted on being solitary experiences. This is headphone music for quiet nights. While conducive to solitary listening, this is by no means passive music—Abysma begs for a dance party.

Will Schube

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