Geomatic Control Agents
By Ray Van Horn, Jr.
For once, some sense can be made in a
coldwave project, one that takes itself perhaps a bit more seriously than
others of its style. Mind control is the theme and muse to Geomatic's
Control Agents, complete with cited passages in the liner notes telling
of electroshock mind manipulation, which explains the swirling miasma found on
the project's murky tracks. Creating a cautionary atmosphere that lends
credence to Gordon Thomas' quote on the inner sleeve, "...a world where every
human thought, emotion, sensation and desire could be actually controlled by
electrical simulation of the brain," Control Agents is as chilling a
manifesto as the guinea-pigism it implies.
Auxiliary Transmitter is a surprise off the bat,
featuring swaying electronica and a hypnotic, smooth rhythm which makes better
use of its external noise elements than other coldwave practitioners. The
Mideastern flavor and slinky tempo keeps the track amazingly balanced. Skinner
Box, however, is an auditory Chinese Water Torture with its prolonged amplified
water drops and pointless coldwave add-ons. The overkill drip concept is
obnoxious, but the desired effect of conveying gradual brain control is
powerfully realized. Implanted Thoughts ushers in a refreshing scat beat
that toys with the vocal sweeps, jangling sound effects and echoing coldwave;
the track even picks up into a Nine Inch Nails type of beat that scoops all of
the random elements into a cohesive industrial groove.
This beat is sorely missing on I.G.O.S., which is
mere hollow eeriness, while Stimulating Electrode Implant is barely
audible. The latter track is a strain to hear, much less care about, yet the
implication of the infrastructure suggests a benumbed loss of free will. The
track finally picks up a beat around the 6:30 mark, ending methodically, as
Intruders switches to a calypso beat after a shrill note tweak opens the
track, followed by a long haul of penetrating coldwave. Finally, Thoughts
Get Louder represents itself true, growing in intensity as it tries to
maintain order amongst its fleeting samples and tidbits. The track works pretty
well for what it is until it ultimately succumbs to darker frays, leaving for a
Political as it is expressionistic, Control Agents is
no less weird and cacophonous than its contemporaries, but with the unique
(unique to this genre, anyway) attempts to take responsibility and guide the
mayhem presented on the disc, Control Agents deserves a listen.
Obviously seeking to be the Operation Mindcrime of its ilk, Geomatic's dramatic
presentation is sure to be pondered by disc's end.
Post: P.O. Box 6254, South Bend, IN, 46660, USA