Saturday, January 13, 2018

GERMAN ARMY “Pacific Plastic” (Seagrave)




Let me read into this.

First, that cover is what, a … cross-section of something? Looks like it, and judging by the release on SEAgrave and the term “Pacific” in the title of PACIFIC PLASTIC, I’m going to go with a cross-section of ocean, no matter how alien it actually looks. Maybe it’s an alien ocean. Maybe it’s the Pacific Ocean after generations of evolution. Why else would it contain odd polygons? Because aliens use polygons in the oceanographic studies. DUH.

I mean, I’m obviously wrong. Most of the track titles point to places that don’t even come close to the Pacific Ocean (actually having more to do with Africa), so let’s talk oceans in general, and civilizations that border them, rely on them, etc. Or let’s not – you need a break from me doing that, don’t you, digging down into some rabbit hole to follow a red herring or other crammed-in animal metaphor that will only bring ruin and frustration? Eff it, let’s just listen to this thing.

Maybe you’re expecting this, but tribal exoticism wrapped in proto-industrial electronics is the German Army way, and PACIFIC PLASTIC is no different, for the most part. And even though that sounds like a distinctly active description, the mood is a languid one, borrowing from equatorial summer afternoons. This is as relaxed a vibe as GeAr is likely to get without going full Peter Kris ambient on us (save for a couple spots, like the title track and “Svaneti in June”). What we get are meditations on scenic vistas stretching to the seas, of national parks and tiny islands, ancient kingdoms and towns bordering safari camps. The sounds could easily complement a nature or anthropology documentary or a film set in a location mysterious and unusual to Western eyes. Regardless, GeAr tap into indigenous wavelengths, reveling in the environments that humanity hasn’t fully destroyed yet.

Where does that leave PACIFIC PLASTIC? Is it a call to reassess modern civilization through a different lens? Is it an admonition of our reliance on the manufacturing sector? I wonder, then, if it’s bad or not bad that I have this plastic tape in my possession. I guess if I don’t throw it in the ocean, I’m in good shape. Enough – I already said I wasn’t going too deep here. And Alien polygons… what an idiot.

German Army
Seagrave

--Ryan Masteller