Connect with us

News

Unknown Album Review: Geotic ‘Traversa’

Each song is built around a strong core while everything else moves around it specific ways.

Jasmine-Kay Johnson

Published

on

Editor’s note: As part of CMN’s ongoing music journalism program, we asked our team of music writers to find and write about a physical piece of music (CD, album or cassette) they had no prior knowledge of. You can find out how it all unfolded by browsing our music section

I was shopping around Hitt Records in Columbia, Missouri, for CDs to add to my growing collection (unfortunately, my 2006 Nissan doesn’t have an auxiliary jack). I searched for about 15 minutes before heading to the register. After some careful consideration and analyzation of my purchases, the owner Kyle Cook gave me three CDs and a Post-It note and I headed out the door.

One of those recommendations was Traversa by Geotic (2018)

Located in sunny Los Angeles, Will Wiesenfeld is the mastermind behind the artistic persona Geotic. This is actually only one of Wiesenfeld’s monikers, though. His current stage name is Baths and he went by [Post-foetus] before that. 

It’s no secret that songs have structure, but it seems the eight tracks that make up the roughly 44-minute long album take it a step further. They’re almost geometric as each song is built around a strong core while everything else moves around it specific ways. It’s clear after listening that Wiesenfeld favors sharp electronic percussion, fade-outs, and orchestral surprises under his Geotic guise. 

He kicks off Traversa with “Knapsack”. The upbeat track opens with sharp cymbals straight from a percussion launchpad set against the sound of chirping birds and moving water. The chorus, which reads “Somewhere I might be/ A modern human being/ But not here, not with a hundred thousand trees/ Miles taller than me,” fits well with the outdoorsy mood he conjures up. 

Following “Knapsack” is “Swiss Bicycle”, one of several instrumental tunes on the record. Wiesenfeld continues to play with cymbals here as well and throws in ambient noise that sounds like dryers in a laundromat. It’s a cool song, but starts to feel a little too repetitive. Then around 3:15, the song begins to soften. The digital “do-do-do’s” take a backseat, isolating the dryer-like noises and sad violin before shifting upright again. 

“Harbor Drive,” “Aerostat,” and “Gondolier,” the third, fourth and seventh songs on Traversa, are the odd ones out. They move away from the lightheartedness of the other tracks into more lowkey territory. “Harbor Drive” immediately creates a scene of someone alone on a dock at dusk due to it’s somber synth layered with the caws of seagulls.

The track is captivating for a number of reasons, but the breathy harmonies and waves toward the end round out the song perfectly. “Aerostat” is even more lowkey than its predecessor. Its subtle opening crescendo and “thump-thumping” are what make this song the “what x would sound like in a bathroom at a party” meme come to life. 

The fifth track “Town Square” isn’t a standout on the album, but it plays with contrast and texture through electronic elements juxtaposed with the sounds of everyday life: feet shuffling against the pavement and cars passing by on the road. 

Geotic’s lyrics and vocals shine through on “Terraformer.” He plays around with layering, volume and pitch while reciting things like, “Space flight and intimacy/ Long responsibility/ Boredom spreads like disease/ Come take your toll on me” and “Space flight and resiliency/ Inseparable entities/ Like lichen to stone or roots to tree/ Do I even have it in me?” 

The album’s closer doesn’t quite hold up against those that came before it. “Maglev” is the most experimental sonically (it sounds like the club remix of a classical song), but it comes at a price. The various sounds and noises are busy at times and it’s easy to get bored of with a six-minute run time. 

Traversa definitely isn’t an album meant to provoke an existential crisis or to inspire a fiery breakup. In fact, it was purposely created that way.

Wiesenfeld’s bio on Bandcamp for Geotic reads, “ambient/passive listening stuff since 2008.” You can recognize the talent needed to produce the songs, but don’t have to do any heavy lifting in order to appreciate it.

So, if you’re someone who finds it difficult to listen to certain music while doing homework or simply want something to stare at your ceiling to, Traversa is a great place to start.

Jumpstart a career doing something you are passionate about with one of College Media Network’s courses. Read about our current offerings, schedule and unique virtual learning environment here.

Jasmine-Kay is a senior at the University of Missouri studying journalism with an emphasis in magazine publishing and management. She is an editor for the Genius Knowledge Project and posts her own music-related writing on her website (jasmine-kayjohnson.com). Her hope is to obtain a master's in music business from NYU after undergrad.

CMN Music

Music1 week ago

Album Review: Tamino – ‘Amir (Deluxe)’

An expanded edition that offers poetic drama from beginning to end.

Music3 weeks ago

What Makes A Scary Song? Three Things Every Spooky Tune Needs

Genuinely scary sounds, an unsettling story, or just party jams with eerie sound effects?

Music4 weeks ago

React: Paste Magazine’s Best Albums of the 2010’s List

It's difficult for any one person to approach a list with complete objectivity,

CMN Vibes4 weeks ago

CMN Vibes: Spooky Season

The only playlist you'll need as Halloween gets closer.

Music1 month ago

4 Places to Read Great Music Journalism

Where to find great, free music writing and journalism on the web.

Essentials2 months ago

Four Useful Spotify Features for Music Writers: Part One

Tips, tricks and cool shortcuts to deepen your knowledge.

Music2 months ago

‘We’ll Carry On’: Examining the Legacy of Rock in the 2000s

The seeds planted by these bands are the reason rock will thrive for generations.

Music3 months ago

Man Arrested in Connection of Death of Rapper Mac Miller

28 year old Cameron James Pettit was arrested today on allegations of supplying deceased rapper Mac Miller with lethal drugs....

Music3 months ago

5 Things You’ll Quickly Learn After Moving From the USA to New Zealand

So you graduate college without any real career plan and decide to spend a year bartending so you can travel...

Music3 months ago

Review: Captain Beefheart, “Hair Pie: Bake 2”

An odd intrigue.

Essentials3 months ago

4 Podcasts Every Music Writer Should be Familiar With

Music journalists these days need to listen to a whole lot more than just music.

Music3 months ago

Cocaine and Rhinestones – Breaking Down Merle Haggard’s ‘Okie from Muskogee’

Tyler Mahan Coe brings the facts and the feel of history.

Music3 months ago

Track Review: Pool Kids – ‘$5 Subtweet’

Diving into a new age of confrontation.

by , SUNY Brockport
Music3 months ago

Hip-Hop’s Most Influential Artists of the Last Half -Decade

Drake, Migos, Travis Scott and more make the list.

by , SUNY Brockport
Music3 months ago

Podcast Review: The Needledrop: How To Get Into Death Grips

Dominick Rabrun joins Anthony Fantano for some intense chat.

Music3 months ago

Liily: Aiming to Turn the Music Industry Upside Down

California band is on the way up and has new music due out this fall.

Music3 months ago

Interview with Singer Natalie Clark

A CMN Q&A that touches on playing guitar, growing up in Glasgow, and being starstruck on 'The Voice.'

Essentials3 months ago

5 Essential Websites for Music Journalists

Great sources to confirm facts or come up with story ideas.

Music3 months ago

Brockhampton Announces New Album and Releases New Song

Brockhampton announced that their new album Ginger will be available on all platforms August 23. The budding rap group simultaneously...

Music3 months ago

Hot 100 Hometown Heat Map: Which State Makes the Most Hits?

Find where your favorite music comes from.

Music3 months ago

Podcast Review: ‘This Sounds Better’

A great podcast that covers key points important to engineers and producers.

by , Albright College
Music3 months ago

Podcast Review: Machine Gun Kelly on the CMN Podcast

Professional and informative.

by , SUNY Brockport

Great Reads

[]
1 Step 1
keyboard_arrow_leftPrevious
Nextkeyboard_arrow_right

Copyright © 2019 College Media Network