3 out of 5
Label: WeMe Records
Produced by: Jodey Kendrick (?)
Very listenable, but also very limited. The main gist of this record, for breakbeat fans, is certainly intriguing: creepy atmospherics; live-sounding, intense drums; a known quantity – Kendrick – at the helm. And as things kick off, that intrigue seems to blossom into amazing things, as GEA hazes from a slow crawl of formless ambience into IDM splashes of percussion, tight and controlled and rich sounding. …And then, once blossomed, it doesn’t continue to grow or wither, it just keeps at its particular wavelength, very literally: the track hits one break where it peels away the drums, then picks back up at the exact same pace, no change. This pattern – atmospherics, drums, break, drums again – persists across the next track as well, with only a slight variation in rhythm. The sound, and production, is still appealing, and it’s too antsy to be background music, but the lack of change is undeniably disappointing. On the B-side, Kendrick does a more downtempo variation, but the overall formula remains the same.
C-side’s opener shows some promise: it’s still repetitive, but the atmospherics become more prominently intertwined. Thereafter, the album picks up significantly: the 6th track (all cuts are named GEA and then the number of the song) does the ambient / live-drumming blending with some surprising flourishes, and then the 7th track is what the idealized version of this is, phasing in and out of sections where drums filter in, and the track shifts throughout. The closer is somewhat back to the original formula, but because it’s the shortest of the bunch, it doesn’t get a chance to repeat, and is a good memory to exit on.
If the core idea wasn’t so sound, this would rate lower, but again – the album isn’t uninteresting, it just doesn’t do much more than that core jig. Excepting those last few tracks, which absolutely help to edge up the overall experience.