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Geomatic - 64 Light Years Away [return to reviews]
Label: Tympanik Audio
Review by Christopher Roddy

Every so often the rabid music consumer will stumble upon a release that hasn't been given much, if any, press and remains a mystery due to the utter dearth of information regarding the act, yet there is that compulsion to check it out in the event there is some substance contained therein upon which to feast. Many times such curiosity is for naught but there are those instances where you're not only rewarded with a pure treasure you're actually blown away that something so perfect and powerful could fly completely under the radar given the viral nature of modern internet culture.

To put is succinctly, Geomatic's 64 Light Years Away is such a wondrously imaginative work it seems inconceivable that the album hasn't caught on in an enormous capacity throughout the dark electronic blogosphere.

From what little information can be gathered about the act it is apparently a duo hailing from Amsterdam. Serge and Andrei put out their first release, seven tracks under the title Control Agents, way back in 2001. Their first full length would eventually be put forth by France's M-Tronic in 2008. Blue Beam was eerily tribal yet foreboding in a futuristic way with nods to Middle Eastern influences throughout. Geomatic's latest effort picks up right where their last release left off and offers something more expansive, more mature, more expertly conceived.

"Nano Anu" rumbles to life with ominously smooth bass burnouts and foreboding, urgent synth which is augmented by understated yet hard-hitting percussive elements reminiscent of early Juno Reactor Trance, but deeper and considerably darker. The mystically alluring beatwork of the following track, "Aftab E Siyah," is enhanced by middle eastern stylings juxtaposed masterfully with futuristic technical flourishes. The ominous, driving rhythms of "Shesqui" add a haunting pulse just beneath ethereal vocalizations and ephemeral electronic noises calling to mind the best work in Future Sound Of London's discography.

Even without high BPMs their midtempo rhythms range from bubbling effervescence building to a glitchy fervor ("Above Horizon") to droning, yet driving, mystique ("Serpent's Tooth"). And the more moody, ambient material typically features alluring tribal percussion, Qawwali-style vocalizations, pulsing bass and occasional forays into darkwave territory. The whole affair has an interesting ebb and flow which makes 64 Light Years Away possibly the most compelling release of 2010. It's certainly one of the very best, if not the best. Hopefully we'll be hearing plenty more out of the Geomatic camp in the future.

1. Nano Anu
2. Aftab E Siyah
3. Sacrifice
4. White Hole, Dark Soul
5. Shesqi
6. The Fourth Plane
7. Above Horizon
8. Serpent’s Tooth
9. Drifting Away
10. Dead Forever
11. Final Dimensional Shift