I haven’t heard reverbs this deep in a while. Like being adrift through stardust, coaxed towards an invisible gravitational force by what sounds to me like the crisp textures of Mutable Instruments Rings(?).
Overall my impression stayed the same throughout the 2.5 hour double album. It’s a great example of gradual and meditative progression featuring high quality production, precise selection of timbres and a welcomed absence of drones. However, for me the progression was broken during the fifth track, Water Study. The increased density in texture, violence and expression is well placed in the track order, although it falls down in terms of its musicality. Dissonance and intensity was clearly intended - and is a welcomed inclusion in a double album of ambient music - but due to the considerable length of the track (21 minutes) and the absence of tonal progression I was left feeling like I was listening to filler material, quickly whipped up on the keyboard and then looped. However, it should be noted that Water Study is already 55 minutes into the album and it really doesn’t feel like it, it feels much shorter, which for me is always a testament to the effectiveness of ambient music.
After Water Study it’s more or less back to the lush and expansive universe created in the first 55 minutes, but with much more esoteric modular synthesizer language. Hints of the dissonance and intensity instilled by Water Study filter back in, which in the end helped Water Study settle back down after having stuck out so much. I really liked how the plucked synth sounds towards the end of the last track Cherise (return) draw a metaphysical connection between the instrumentation of the first track Mirror and sonic picture of a children music box, which also symbolically references a teleportation back in time. Perhaps there is then some heightened significance in the first track being titled Mirror, but it’s more suggestive to simply leave it at that.
M.Geddes Gengras - Light Pipe was released October 12th, 2018 on the Room 40 label and can be bought there as CD or download.