Goliad: Inevitability

Goliad: InevitabilityGoliad is Devlin Miski, a Bay Area musician of 19 years, and an ambitious talent with his sights set on immersive soundscapes. Inevitability marks his second release this year, the first being the remarkably energetic and lush beat tape, Gavin’s Middle Name, issued under the moniker lequoia. In comparison, Inevitability is a gentler sound, filled with vast plains where the bell-tone synths have all the room they need to echo, mutate, and come rebounding back from distant boundaries. It’s an expansive yet briskly-paced record, and precisely the soundtrack for when you have nothing but wandering on your mind.

Inevitability adopts a uniform mid-tempo pace and small variations on a single pattern: the creation of space, the crowding of said space, and a warped finale, usually balancing the generated harmony with dissonance. Along the way, Goliad weaves together phalanxes of small sounds into tracks always organic and breathing, giving the impression of knitting life out of scraps. ‘Forged’ layers heavily reverbed chanting atop bongo patters as wet fingers  drag the surface of half-filled wineglasses. ‘TURN UP’ shows the record has teeth and molars, with a powerful percussive attack sounding like quartz avalanching inside oil barrels, while human voices babble indistinctly. It reminds me of Godfrey Reggio documentaries like Koyaanisqatsi, where imagery of human cultures from far-flung epochs are juxtaposed with scenes of nature and wildlife to give an impression of endless patterns. Inevitability isn’t quite there, but the mental correlation proves Goliad is doing something right.

Most notable, is how Miski sets these intricate wavelengths afloat, then midway through the track he begins to unravel the intonations. The melodies sag and warp, but just slightly, by degrees sidetracking into an ominous sidethought that keeps the listener from excessive comfort. The tracks rarely go past the four-minute mark by much; for such an ambient-minded record, the movements come and go relatively quickly. They rarely overstay their welcome, and by the time you get a firmer grasp, they’ve already quietly metamorphosed into some darker, more looming, or sometimes even more expansive form.

Between Gavin’s Middle Name and Inevitability, we have a lot to look forward to on Goliad’s horizon. He’s shown an aptness for both the jagged and the gentle, and his approach to plunderphonics makes him a contender in the genres of hip-hop, ambient, experimental, or any number of similar fields. Anticipate growth, and be sure to check out that beat tape… 8.0/10

TURN UP

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