Geomatic & Lagowski – Cosmochemistry


[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

So what have we here? The cover depicts a rope intertwined upon itself floating in what appears to be a luminous liquid. Look closely at one of the names, that should tell you all you need to know about where this album is going. Seven tracks (which will extend to nine later in the year) that are pristine examples of dark electronic precision meeting up with excellent tribal influences; you’ll be swept away quite easily and while you drown in the beauty of this collaboration you’ll get a sense of belonging which is all too rare in music these days. The most unnerving feature to “Cosmochemistry” is this: you’ve been here before, awake or not alive or not… you know this place intimately.

Just the name of this record alone ought to cue you in that this isn’t going to be an ordinary experience in sound, Lagowski’s penchant for mathematically derived electronics meshed with decrepit, poisoned atmospheres has been going on for over twenty years now and he’s in fine form on this release. Those dive bombing analogue bass lines march perfectly in step to the assembly line beats he does so well. The other half of this pairing seems to concentrate on more natural sounding musical elements, the flesh over the bones as it were. I’ve heard little by this artist before but whoever this one is, what he brings to the table is an amazing range of arcane tones. The meeting of these two is no accident, I suspect what few melodic elements “Cosmochemistry” contains are the handiwork of Geomatic. Lagowski’s work is always functional and concrete in feel, he doesn’t do pretty.

I spent weeks picking apart what is on here and I have a glimmer of understanding to show for it, the edifice of this album is imposing. It just begins without any warning and then kicks into high gear without any regard for timing, purely refined like corn syrup injected right into the blood stream. If you feel a sudden rush of images, words and emotions when listening don’t be alarmed. This is all part of the experience and you’d be wise to just let it flow through you, I can tell that they definitely did. How long was this in the planning stages or did they just do it all on a whim. We’ll never know the answer to that particular riddle.

Smooth as glass, like marbles rolling across an insanely perfect pitch. The thoughts of stellar constellations, planets aching under gravity’s scale. If you’ve been following some of the more esoteric scientific papers out there then you’ll have read of a remarkable discovery called the Amplituhedron, an object which reduces equations to their barest essence and calls into question the very nature of time and space. Openly mocking their relevance. I have little doubt that one of these fellows, or perhaps both, have done what they’ve done here as an homage to this ever expanding enigma.

Don’t take my word for it, behold the image for yourself and then listen to this while you do.

The symmetry this pair exhibit is kept hidden from most, people drop Lagowski’s name now and then but he is, for the most part, the cause of those ripples you see in the musical world. He’s far from an intentional recluse but you have to sign on for the ride if you want to understand what he’s doing. Geomatic, by contrast, from what I have heard on here, is more based in what has come before and resides silently in the Earth. Taken on their own merits they are noteworthy, but when combined they become an amazingly complex meeting of the minds. Watch out.

Geomatic & LagowskiCosmochemistry
Strange Place
Digital 2013

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