The 88th release on Asymmetric Recordings sees the long awaited debut album from Geist. Glen C aka Geist made his first appearance on Asymmetric with his contribution to the labels ‘New Horizons’ collection which was released in June of 2013. The UK born but now Sweden based producer went on to appear on the label an additional 6 times and his debut album entitled ‘Stimuli’ marks his eighth in total.
Under his Glen C. moniker Geist has been a fixture of the European festival circuit for almost two decades and is an integral part of the Iboga Records team. Given Glen’s long and storied history in electronic music you would expect a full length album of his to be of considerable depth and ‘Stimuli’ certainly is. From start to finish is it a well crafted masterpiece.
It begins with the mid tempo grooves of ‘Enter This Way’ and ‘Empire 1’ which perfectly set the stage for some of the more club oriented material. The widescreen grooves and ethereal vocal elements of ‘Empire 1’ in fact sound tailor made for opening up a big room and the effect is quite similar for setting the correct atmosphere for a long player. What follows are three very dance floor worthy cuts in ‘Sluggish’, ‘Former Self’ and ‘Lucid Sight’. The latter might be one of the collections most progressive inspired pieces with its grinding harmonies and delicately textured bells. The vocal edits during the break are not only impressive but highly memorable and the compositions second half is playfully groovy which should prove highly effective on even the most discerning of dance floors.
One of the albums standout selections is undoubtedly ‘What’ with its well carved foundation and sparkling melodic accents. It’s productions like this that make it abundantly clear that Glen has logged countless hours both in the studio and just listening to all sorts of music. These are productions that really defy the industry standard genres and the aural barriers between them are completely broken with this album.
The deep and soulful ‘If’ is another standout selection with its lazy, swing heavy groove and well placed piano elements. The phasing vocals and swirling electronics provide the trippy surroundings and make this an ideal back room bomb. The deliberate grooves of ‘Searching in the Wrong Places’ lead masterfully into ‘The Lost But Sublime’ which goes down as one of the most vibrant and playful compositions on the LP. The glassy sheen that adorns the hypnotic keys modulates in exhilarating fashion and the accompanying rhythms are suitably contemporary.
The underlying musicality of the collection is fully realised with ‘We Dream’. A favourite of mine on the album for its funky hooks and hypnotic harmonies. The overall groove of the piece is downright infectious as well and the constant shifts in rhythm are fresh and inspired. Certainly one of the most dance floor worthy cuts on the collection. The laid back grooves of ‘Empire 2’ take you into the final portion of the album with a soulful musicality and dimly lite vibe that is rich in atmosphere. The semi warped grooves, pulsating rhythms and ultra processed vocals of ‘Breeze’ set the stage for another one of the collections more progressive inspired pieces ‘Exit Via The Abyss’. The mid tempo groove chugs along with a funky flair and again a unique vocal stab highlights the framework with a tasteful elegance.
The appropriately titled ‘One For The Road’ closes the album out on a very strong note. It’s a fitting conclusion because it really encompasses what the album is all about. Uniquely funky grooves, poignant vocal elements, soulful musical themes and above all a contemporary flair which seems to tie everything together extraordinarily well. This is an exceptional collection of music from Glen and I would imagine this LP is a long time coming given how intricate and tastefully done each and every selection is here. This is something that you’ll need to give more than a few listens to fully appreciate. Like a good movie you’re still learning new things about it even after several listens. Highly Recommended.