Published Nov 10, 2015Original copies of this early '80s classic of private press, new age release are nearly impossible to find; if a copy appears these days, it sports a hefty price tag.
Texan synth wizard J.D. Emmanuel began releasing albums on his own North Star Productions imprint in 1980 and was very prolific. The artist himself considers Wizards — which arrived in 1982 — his best work, a hypnotic electronic album inspired by Terry Riley. Consisting of five movements, in which mesmerizing synthesizer patterns unfold over clouds of organ drone, Wizards is a transcendent work of art that seeks to inject a sense of spirituality into a culture focused primarily on consumerism and greed. As with most of Emmanuel's other releases from that period, it was largely under-appreciated, and the musician went into hibernation a decade later before being rediscovered around 2005.
Wizards surfaced again in 2007 when Lieven Martens (Dolphins Into the Future) pressed a limited run on his Dreamtime Taped Sounds label, and was repressed a few years later by Important. Five years on from that last reissue, this new run includes as a bonus the original takes of the third and fifth movements, which were replaced by Emmanuel due to problems with the original master tapes when the first edition of the LP was pressed. Although they were added merely for historical purposes, both pieces are interesting works in their own right. Those who haven't snatched up a copy of this stellar album are encouraged to do so now. (Important)