Sunday, June 6, 2010

oh jimb...

EMERALDS. 'bullshit boring drone band' - the name of an earlier AMERICAN TAPES release by this three-piece group, and the first one i aquired. the title seemed entirely appropriate to me at the time (it's irony lost on me, also) - i was COMPLETELY disinterested and shelved it along with the other countless cdr's i have collected over the years, pricks they are to take care of as well, as i don't usually lose any sleep over what condition they may or may not be in (UNITED FAIRY MOONS being the exception to this rule) - unlike say, cassettes. i enjoy being proved wrong - really, it is much more enjoyable to be taken by surprise at a later date, than to be immediately satisfied...usually that initial reaction is a fickle one anyway and EMERALDS have indeed grown on me in ways that i did not expect. synthesisers, beautiful contraptions that they are, also encourage lazy behaviour for the most part - and one can easily fall asleep atop a keyboard, and make sounds that will at the very least, interest bedwetters and noise obsessives alike (HENRY ROLLINS?!). EMERALDS actually come at you with a unique vision, most wholly realised on their recent double lp on EDITIONS MEGO - 'does it look like i'm here' some ways, pure pop music, arpeggiations upon arpeggiations, clashing but always resolving, gorgeous filter sweeps and a tasteful (in a good way) interpretation of all things german and synthetic, funneled through lessons learned from factions of the american noise underground. EMERALDS have two self-titled albums, the one i am listening to at the moment was originally a tape release on HANSON (or so i'm informed, probably incorrectly, who cares...) - now reissued on cd by the same label and mixed with field recordings of a buddhist cremation for example, recorded by aaron dilloway during his time in nepal...less ENYA than that sounds, although there is a 'new age' feel to their most recent missives, crossed with memories of a long-lost commodore-64 game. the guitar playing is for me, the band's weakest link, too straight and informed by cringe-worthy 'post rock' moves from artists i have tried my best to forget, but the action of EMERALDS' synthesisers makes up for this, and i can ignore and thus accept the guitar's insistence on normality. i doubt that anyone reading this will be unfamiliar with said group, so i'm preaching to the converted or cynical - but either way, EMERALDS are three humans worth your time and money. ambient? of course. essential? not particularly. innovative? without a doubt. within this small scope of sounds are moments worth savouring, and best played on repeat.

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