M. Geddes Gengras – Light Pipe (Room40)


Light Pipe is American experimental composer M. Geddes Gengras’ tenth solo release and first for Lawrence English’s Room40 label. He’s probably best known via his work with modular synthesizer and his 2012 collaboration album FRKWYS, Volume 9 : Icon Give Thank with Sun Araw and Jamaican legends The Congos.

Light Pipe compiles his compositions for site specific performances across several years, and it’s an imposing prospect – spanning about two and a half hours. Yet when you listen, it actually feels like one immense single piece – which is astounding. This is because each track runs into each other so seamlessly. Sure there are a multitude of approaches and different thematic elements, but there is a consistency of palette too, a simplicity, making the whole come across like one giant ambient textural wash. This is deeply immersive music that lives and breathes, as these thick washes of ambience build and subside like waves, and hidden textures emerge for a while before being subsumed by synthetic washes of sound. This is remarkable music, it’s long form listening at its best. I’ve been listening regularly to this for a few months now and it feels new each time. That’s because it’s impossible to focus on this music. All you can do is let it consume you and hope you make it back out eventually.


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.