Personable: Spontaneous Generation
Peak Oil

Issued concurrently with Strategy's self-titled opus, the second twelve-inch vinyl release (also presented in a lenticular cover and in a 300-copy run) on the new Peak Oil imprint stokes a ferocious modular synthesizer blaze for a breathless forty minutes. Operating under the Personable moniker, LA-based M. Geddes Gengras has amassed a considerable following in the wake of a number of cassette releases on Stunned, Digitalis, and Ekhein, and now builds on that with Spontaneous Generation's three tracks of synth dynamism.

During the A-side's titular colossus, hot-wired synth patterns incessantly percolate for twenty-one marathon minutes while a blistering minimal techno groove roars determinedly down below. Though the tempo never flags and the material rarely strays from its obsessively single-minded path, “Spontaneous Generation” does undergo subtle shifts in texture and timbre such that episodes of different character emerge—an acidy one here and a momentary beatless one there, for instance—though never so much that the piece's overall character is compromised. The B-side picks up right where the first leaves off when “Billions of Christic Atoms” stokes as hellacious a jittery groove as the opener, and the title's well-chosen, too, given the wealth of staccato pulsations that dot its galaxial sputter and booming 4/4. Sedate is hardly the word for it, but “Series of Energies” does seem to inhabit a slightly less frenzied sphere than its brethren. But don't be waylaid by those opening moments: the eleven-minute slow-builder gradually works its clockwork pulse and twinkling patterns into a frenetic lather that's not all that far removed from the others. Not for the faint of heart, Personable's full-tilt, psyche-scarring synthesizer excursions are raw, their attack relentless, and their impact dizzying.

October 2012