The fruit of a line of unsuccessful attempts at being in a band, My Geometric Exile takes electronic music and creates something that is not what you would exactly call ambient, though the person behind the project sees it that way. I have to disagree with him, only because of the aggression that is heard in the music. Solar, the first half of the Solar/Lunar double album, demands your attention. It doesn't simply fill in the space around you, giving you something to listen to. It grabs your ears and shoves itself in there, good and tight, and all you can say is "thank you.” Blending rock and punk sensibility (not sound, but the energy) with massive hip-hop beats gives you an excuse to start at the beginning and listen straight though.
*Celestial Embrace* opens the album, like an orchestra tuning and whirring. It hints at what is to come, but is more gentle than *Trains and Time Travel* which starts with a gentle synth chord before a perfectly broken beat begins. The song culminates in a storm of sound: glitch tracks, flutters, trills and whirring fill your ears. The title track is reminiscent of The D.O.T. and showcases a dancy beat that leads the way for mellow pads, like a sunrise. *Melancholy Afternoon* finds it's home on the guitar, full of loops and subtle melody like a Kaki King song that has gone crazy. It's followed by the rocking *Challenge Gravity,” a muse-like riff and electronic drum pattern that plays behind the beat, creating a brilliant, if disorienting, dynamic.
If there is a weak spot on the album, it lies in tracks six-nine. It isn't that they aren't good; they just don't capture the listener's attention the way the rest of the album does. All fears that the album is going to turn out to be boring are laid to rest in *Planes Interrupt My Cloud Meditation,” which pulls from the noisier projects of Sufjan Stevens, namely his album Enjoy Your Rabbit.
Finally, the album closes with *Will You Remember Today?* an expansive and fitting end to the first half of a double album that I'm so glad I had the chance to discover. Found sounds give the impression that you're hearing someone's day through the filter of a fuzzy memory. Laced with the sound of laughter and reverberating chords, one can only hope the protagonist did remember today.
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