Here at Impose, we never use the words “atmospheric” or “soundscape.” If you really think about it, those words don’t actually mean much at all. “Atmospheric” might very well be used to very vaguely describe a dining experience, and “soundscape” just doesn’t make sense (a landscape for sound?). So there’s something tricky about writing about ambient music—all these forbidden words seem particularly attractive, but in the case of M. Geddes Gengras, the music transcends language.
The Los Angeles experimental music veteran and Sun Araw collaborator just released the first single from his new album Ishi (named after the last survivor of the Yahi Indian tribe), “Passage”. That’s only if you consider an eleven-minute exploration of drone a “single.” Gengras piles on layer after layer of consonant synth, building a hauntingly beautiful digital wall of complementary tones and timbres akin to bell chimes swaying in the breeze. It has a similar feeling, but “Passage” seems to be more about the experience of listening to it than how I can translate that into written language. “Passage” is a track for headphone listening and staring out a window, not for writing about.
Isis is due for release on June 24 via Leaving Records.