Personable – ‘Spontaneous Generation’ LP [Peak Oil]

Proper surprised there are still some of these kicking around. I suspect Christmas brokeness has either set in early or that 300 runs of wax are going a lot further than they used to. Either way, some stunning techno on offer here from a new guise of M. Geddes Gengras, stepping in with the mix of other electronic and live experimentalists working on tracks for the dance floor. Taking on the name Personable for his first LP of squelchy acid flavored joints, he’s absolutely nailed what we want to hear coming out the speakers with this record.

We last spotted Gengras on the wicked collaboration with Sun Araw & The Congos earlier in the year, a trippy reggae project that came to us as FRKWYS Vol. 9: Sun Araw & M. Geddes Gengras Meet The Congos on CD and 12″. Recorded in Jamaica it was a dope record we highly recommend checking out, though it’s a far cry from this techno monster. That said, despite Gengras’ extensive catalogue in groups such as Robedoor and LA Vampires, we’re still pretty fresh to his solo work, with the majority of these electronic outings coming to us on cassette from about 2009, occasionally accompanied with a live one-man show. And while Personable has made a brief tape-based appearance in the catalogue before, Spontaneous Generation is a definite kick-up, getting a worthy pressing on the freshly minted Peak Oil label.

Quality techno this, reminiscent of the hyper-intensive $tinkworx jams of the ’90s, but with each piece given more room to breathe. This occurs most noticeably on the A side title track, ‘Spontaneous Generation’, a 20 minute epic that couldn’t have been any shorter. This is pure evolution of machines and driving track ideas as far as they can go. You want to start the needle again as soon as it ends, listening to it in it’s entirety is like watching a short-film. The flip runs about the same length cut across two tracks, proper electronic compositions each of them built for mid-set 1am and chin-stroke deconstruction at the same time.

Peak Oil have done a decent job with the packaging too, a cool little holographic coaster thing fixed to the front and then a hand stamped single plate inside the black sleeve. It looks good no doubt, but given the choice between a proper price range or packaging I’ll always take the former. Limited to 300, I expect these will still fly on quality of tracks alone.

Piccadilly had a nice write-up, linked in below. Just before that you can check out one of the b-side cuts below, oddly enough also allowed for download via the Peak Oil soundcloud page.

via Piccadilly Records
Huddled behind a towering spire of modular synthesizers, Los Angeles’ M. Geddes Gengras has amassed a following devoted to his epic ambient swashes of synthesized immersion across numerous cassette releases on Stunned, Digitalis and Ekhein, mention nothing of his recent collaboration with Sun Araw and the Congos on RVNG Intl.

Last year, under his Personable alias, he staged a number of live performances of raw, epic, blisteringly melodic, ultimately psychedelic minimal techno that literally (literally!) blew minds across Los Angeles. This is the first vinyl release of that material and a testament to its atavistic outsider techno. Three tracks spread across forty minutes, prepare yourself. “Spontaneous Generation” takes up the whole of side 1, letting the layered, sequenced synths lose to take the words ‘hypnotic’ and ‘epic’ to a whole new level. If the original idea of acid house was to create trance-like states with repetitive beats and morphing, modulating synth waves, then this is acid house par excellence. “Billions Of Christic Atoms” is a tighter jack trax banger, while “Series Of Energies” adds industrial / electronica machine music to the mix.

A1. Spontaneous Generation
B1. Billions Of Christic Atoms
B2. Series Of Energies