M. Geddes Gengras
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About M. Geddes Gengras
Los Angeles-based experimental musician and synthesizer aficionado M. Geddes Gengras has been involved with numerous projects ranging from psych-folk and noise rock to dub reggae and cosmic ambient drone. He became an in-demand collaborator during the second half of the 2000s, participating in experimental groups such as Robedoor and Pocahaunted, before he began releasing solo cassettes and CD-Rs of his modular synthesizer improvisations in 2009. Along with close associate Sun Araw (Cameron Stallones), Gengras worked with influential reggae group the Congos on the acclaimed 2012 release Icon Give Thank. Gengras has released noisy experimental techno as Personable, as well as several ambitious long-form drone works under his own name, including 2018's double-CD Light Pipe.
Originally from New England, M. Geddes Gengras moved to Los Angeles in 2005. Along with his brother Cyrus, he formed the ethereal folk duo Antique Brothers around this time, issuing several tapes and CD-Rs on labels such as House of Alchemy and Foxglove. He also produced solo recordings under the name Fantastic Ego on Phantom Limb Recordings. In 2007, his group Thousands (with Grant Capes and Tim Goodwillie of [VxPxC]) released several limited recordings, including one on Not Not Fun. This began a long association between Gengras and the label. He ended up participating in many of the group's flagship acts, such as stoner-noise group Robedoor, tribal psych collective Pocahaunted, and abstract dance project LA Vampires. Increasingly obsessed with modular synthesizers, Gengras began releasing numerous recordings of his own electronic experiments on labels such as Stunned Records, Digitalis, and Tape Drift.
Gengras' debut solo LP, The Y-Δ Transform, appeared on Abaddon Records in 2011. Also that year, Gengras traveled to Jamaica with his frequent collaborator Cameron Stallones (Sun Araw). The two formed Duppy Gun Productions, a label/production unit dedicated to futuristic dancehall reggae. The duo also collaborated with reggae legends the Congos, resulting in the album Icon Give Thank, released by Rvng Intl. as part of their FRKWYS series. Issued in 2012 along with a documentary of the recording sessions, the album was a critical success, and was shortly followed by the live EP Icon Give Life. Gengras continued his solo synth explorations with the Test Leads LP issued by Holy Mountain/Intercoastal Artists. He also released Spontaneous Generation, the first LP by his techno project Personable, on the Peak Oil label.
In 2013, Mexican label Umor Rex compiled tracks from some of his earlier cassettes onto the LP Collected Works, Vol. 1: The Moog Years. This was shortly followed by the release of the debut double LP by Celebrate Music Synthesizer Group, which included Gengras as well as Stallones, Butchy Fuego (Lucky Dragons, Pit Er Pat), and Tony Lowe. Gengras' next solo synth album, Ishi, appeared on Leaving Records in 2014, and a second LP for Umor Rex, Collected Works Vol. 2: New Process Music, was issued shortly after. The second Personable full-length, New Lines, appeared on Peak Oil in 2015. In 2016, Intercoastal Artists released one of Gengras' most ambitious works to date, the double LP Interior Architecture. Hawaiki Tapes, an album of improvisations recorded while Gengras was on vacation in Hawaii, was released by Umor Rex in 2018. This was followed by Light Pipe, an expansive double-CD of pieces written for site-specific performances, issued by Room40. ~ Paul Simpson
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