Emeralds What Happened

Analogue knob twiddlers Emeralds' recent offering comes off like somewhat of a tribute to the golden era of electronic music. The euphoric pads of electric blanket warmth instantly evoke Fripp and Eno's No Pussyfooting, while intermittent gelatinous spurts are faintly reminiscent of the Subotnick's Silver Apples of the Moon. Replete with a steady trickle of murky synth ooze though, their sound also recalls the slow motion avalanche of Cluster's 71 or early Tangerine Dream. Though they appear to be glancing backward through time, Emeralds are not adopting some irony-laced retro-fetishist pose. Instead, they are exploring similar terrain with psychedelic revisionism. Where their forerunners seemed to be directing their sounds toward a space age version of an imaginary future, Emeralds (who are from "the future") are retrospective, magnifying the artefacts of latent strangeness that lurked in the darker corners of these older recordings. What once were subtle echoes hinting at acoustical space become dubbed-out wonderlands in the hands of these fellows. Saw tooth waves become buzzing swarms and guitar ripples turn to bubbling springs. While their approach doesn't trump the past masters, it certainly examines it through an excitingly twisted microscope. (No Fun)