Thursday, 8 December 2011

Review: Geomatic - Blue Beam

Geomatic Blue Beam
I love Geomatic, but they are irritatingly unique. Okay, I know shit about industrial, but for all my searching I can't find another band out there who sound anything like their hugely atmospheric, vicious tribal-ambient-industrial fusion. The best way I can describe it is some genetically tele-spliced fusion of Muslimgauze and HR Giger. Images of Lovecraftian dead civilisations and baroque alien other-ships crash landed on inhospitable planets abound. Hard, crunching industrial beats and robo-vocals form the core but instead of gloomy vocals and rock guitars we get menacing psy-tranceish ambience and much Middle Eastern/tribal/ethnic/I'm-a-racist-Westerner-who-doesn't-know-where-these-sounds-come-from-so-I'll-generalise influences. They used to be a fairly typical and boring dark ambient outfit but after seven years of apparently doing nothing they came out with Blue Beam in 2008, from nowhere, and with it came this new, unprecedented sound.

What annoys me about this act is they don't fit into either the industrial camp or the electronica camp, so I just can't find anything else like them. Which is especially annoying because I'm a DJ and when I hear massive cinematic tracks like The Bliss or the put-your-hands-up-for-Cthulhu anthem Turn Of The Coil with its sweeping, unpredictable chord progressions, I want to put them in a DJ mix and blow people's minds. This shit would sound incredible if used correctly in a psy-trance set, but as yet I've not found any way to do it.

Blue Beam is a bit of an uneven album, not so much in quality as in flow. I personally would have arranged the tracklist a little differently, and I suppose there's nothing to stop me doing that when I enqueue the album, except my respect for the artist's vision, you heretical bastards. The strongest material comes at the start and a few of the tracks later on are a bit too samey in terms of being dark, brooding mood pieces. I still love the album, but the opening feels like it's going to set up a really heavy alien invasion party album, but the energy level drops off somewhat into something more introspective. Their sequel album, 2010's 64 Million Light Years, does the same thing but I think that album has more of a sense of spacing out into desolate interstellar evil. It's the typical DJ thing to start off quiet and slow and then build up to the big stuff, and always much trickier to do the opposite and slow your album down without seeming to just be lapsing into filler. Fluke were always experts at doing it. I would have just liked it if Geomatic had included a more epic finale here. Still this is a bad-ass album and these guys deserve a lot more attention.

Genre: Tribal-ambient-industrial
Stupid Arbitrary Rating: 8/10

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