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Viscous Solid

Viscous Solid
(Ghostly International)

Although he cut his teeth doing more minimal dance floor type stuff on different European labels, the music that Geoff White has created under the Aeroc pseudonym is much more suitable for the chill-out set. This is pastoral organic/electronic with enough of a pulse to keep you from dozing off but with enough of the edges smoothed off to inspire sofa surfing rather than dancing. At times moving in the direction of Manual (aka Jonas Munk) and in others stripping down to an almost Mille Plateaux-esque chill, Viscous Solid is an eclectic 15 tracks that try different things and succeed much of the time.

"My Love, The Wave Break" opens the disc and it's all pretty acoustic guitars and clunky beats. Fairly unadorned other than the two elements, it's content to simply carve out a path and let both breath. "Mahy" takes similar elements and drops the beat into the background while acoustic guitars again weave all over and bursts of quiet electronics gurgle underneath it all. A couple tracks in, the album seems to change quite a bit in feel, taking a much darker turn. "Wish Eyes" is all murky clicks and cuts as dark drones drift across the top while "Vio La" goes even more minimal, dropping only a few blips over another faint tone.

Towards the latter third of the release, things again brighten up with the excellent "Onward... Upward," which is probably the best acoustic guitar and beats track on the album. "Summer's Almost Over" closes the album with a repetitive beat and soft synth pads that slowly build through the course of the track. If I had one complaint with Viscious Solid, it's that it lacks the dynamics that it needs to sustain itself through the running time. While their are quieter, minimal electronics tracks that bolt together some of the longer pieces, most of the time they don't add much other than a few faint clicks and pops, and it's the more vibrant tracks (that feature real instrumentation) that really drive the album. In the end, it's sort of a hit-or-miss release that still feels like a transitional effort from White.

Rating: 6.5