“Traversa” by Geotic – Review
Will Wiesenfeld of Baths returns with another release under his Geotic moniker, a vehicle for his more passive and easy-listening releases. Traversa is no different: its pretty, inoffensive production is unfaltering throughout and pairs superbly with a brisk nighttime listen. But the hypnagogic atmosphere composed of hyper-polished synths, swirling string treatments, and programmed drums only covers up what is for the most part bland songwriting and phoned-in vocals.
Traversa ventures to find a hazy sound somewhere between ambient house and electronica, utilizing field recordings and four-to-the-floor beats in the same breath as orchestral arrangements and jittery synth melodies. But, even when Wiesenfeld presents the interesting musical ideas he has, they feel overused and underdeveloped. While songs like “Aerostat” feature some truly relaxing and inspired instrumental ideas, the words feel cheesy, effectively ruining the listener’s relationship with the song entirely. “Town Square” shows off a much more electronica-leaning side of the project, with a pulsating synth melody and trilling percussion underlying most of the track. The absence of vocals here is on the track’s side, but it loses its magic quickly.
The warbling guitar and glitchy, múm-esque percussion of “Gondolier” makes it a highlight on Traversa, with much more space for melodic development, and some good-natured, faux-aleatoric experimentation. The vocal melody here is (again) uncompelling, but everything else here is special and definitely helps the track. Overall, good musicianship and subpar melodies collide for what sounds akin to Sufjan covering Owl City.
Edited by Nick Jacobyansky