Clarity is a double-edged vista. Seeing and hearing things for exactly what they are is beautiful and enticing, but there’s nowhere to hide when structures are built from glass. M. Geddes Gengras’s latest dip for Hausu Mountain is crystal clear and unafraid. Stretched across elegant bass lines, anodyne rhythms, and a sea of nebulous, prismatic synths, Expressed, I Notice Silence is a vast paradise map.
Gengras has an unmistakable sense of unconventional melodies and a grasp of spatial awareness, often trademarks of his work. Even at his most experimental, those elements seep into the sonic palette. On Expressed, I Notice Silence, both aspects are centerpieces, along with the transportive expansive, world-building synth arrangements. There are so many places to explore within these spectral confines. Eyes closed, the transmissions distill into translucent spectacles.
Chimes settle the dreamworld into place in the opening moments of “The Harmony and Also I Became Square Movement.” Atmospheric pads swell, opening space for snakelike leads to gliding through the glistening haze. There is so much movement it’s intoxicating as Gengras crams countless melodies into the tiniest spaces so that no surface is left untouched.
Repetition is also a key component of Expressed. Lackadaisical bass sequences become powerful meditative transmissions in the expansive bounce of “Give as Proportion.” In this journey, the piece is a respite, a place to feel the stillness and not worry about the need to get somewhere. Heady leads become sneaky earworms, and synthetic voices come alive, but the progression is enticingly static, spinning from left to right and back. Every trip needs a bit of stoic serenity.
Often, Expressed uses its rich tonal palette to become all-encompassing. “Parts of a Private Moment” has a tenderness woven into its aural fabric, but the intricate electronics and underlying bassline paired with sparkling, emotive guitar passages carry significant emotional weight. This gravity is the glorious cocoon of Expressed, I Noticed Silence. It’s not assertive but is a luminous guiding force throughout. “Discovered Endstate Always” embraces it with gauzy disembodied voices, while “A Rhythmic Stillness as Root Had I” lays bare in its impeccable production and melodic sculptures.
There is so much to take in here that, like the world outside and this soundworld within, it feels like there will never be enough time to hear it all. That allure makes Expressed, I Noticed Silence special. Something new will always reveal itself if we listen closely or in a different environment. Gengras chooses not to hide but let everything flow through transparent fields and into the crystal sky.