Geistform - Transmitter - Hands

Geistform - Transmitter - Hands Productions - Album Review

Artwork and design by Nicola Bork

Industrial techno achieves new heights with Transmitter by Geistform, a full communion between heavy beats and raw distortion, which will set any dancefloor on fire.

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Back in the early 2000’s, Rafa Martínez Espinosa, the man behind Geistform, started his career as an industrial/electro producer and performer. Throughout these years he has developed an ever-evolving trademark sound, as attested to by his previous 5 albums as well as a very special mix he shared with the Secret Thirteen community. His rock solid reputation and style are unique across the continent and, although still a name known more to well-informed diggers and industrial-heads, both his intense live shows and recordings demonstrate his enormous quality as a sound-sculptor.

After reading much of the annual gibberish on the best albums of year, it was surprising that none of the more prominent publications on underground culture had dropped a single line on one of the most glittering gems of 2016, i.e., Transmitter by Geistform. Even more so in these days that industrial has played such an important role in big festivals and night-clubs. The album, which saw the light of day last November, was put out by HANDS, a long-standing German label, well-known for giving shelter to some of the biggest names in industrial scene, such as Orphx, Ancient Methods, Tomohiko, Winterkälte or 13th Monkey. The 13 tracks this LP consists of exude power and mark a step forward in Rafa’s career - a highly successful approach to the dancefloor. With a total absence of harmony, the pieces on this album grow from the standard ritualistic rhythms of industrial techno up to an overwhelming combination of nakedly harsh effects, factory-like sounds and masterfully produced white noise layers. As a whole, this work keeps a clear storyline. However, the tracks also work well separately. Measurement, which is the opening one, offers a superb dialogue between kicks and delayed hihats on the one hand, and wrapping distorted soundscapes on the other. To name a couple others, Gauss and Magnetometer, two jaw-dropping frantic compositions, merit a true deep listen, as textures invite to get lost in them and just feel within how the sound gets thicker and thicker. The best advice to be given here would be to take a breath, get ready for violence and let yourself go for this 70-minute long LP.

Undoubtedly, there are two things Rafa Geistform must be proud of. First, he chooses the perfect timing for breaks and on-spot variations. It is circularity this album is built upon, and that concept does not only apply successfully to beats and verses, but to the whole structure of every single song. Secondly, the superb production effort behind this album allows listeners to chase effects, follow how layers develop and feel the intensity of kicks with an astonishing clarity. All in all, with Transmitter, Geistform proves that care and rawness, subtlety and violence, fit perfectly together.

Transmitter CD

1. Measurement
2. Gauss
3. Arc
4. Receptor
5. RATAN 600
6. Magnetometer
7. Cota 705
8. Singularity
9. Semiconductor
10. Momentum
11. Transmitter
12. Spear
13. Redshift

About Author

Armando Valdés, the man behind Secret Thirteen album reviews, is a translator, music journalist and a member of noise-ambient + spoken word band “Granny On Donkey”.

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