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What Happened

Ohio's Emeralds are a band that we cherish dearly here at boomkat. Last years 'Solar Bridge' EP was a (third) eye opening experience and the entry level opener to their self created world of synthesized pschedelia. The group, consisting of members John Elliot, Mark McGuire and Steve Hauschildt, have some 20 odd releases to their name since 2006, generally produced on the deliberatly lo-fi cassette and CDr formats for a number of tiny boutique imprints like Hanson Records, Wagon and Fag Tapes. Their distinct brand of freeform deep space emotions found them on many end-of-year charts for 2009 and more recently picked up a huge fan in Thurston Moore, who released their split LP with Tusco Terror last year, and now Carlos Giffoni who aligns the group with his label's motley array of noise technicians on No Fun Productions. 'What Happened' is an aural flashback to the midsts of a powerfully affecting and overwhelming reverie that you never had, recorded to tape from improvised sessions between 2007-8. Utilising an array of guitars, effects pedals and vintage analogue synthseizers in an improvisational manner, the group manipulate a sound of heart wrenching intensity and mind blowing potential that often comes in at long over the 10 minute mark, but requires such a long duration to reach that point. Opener 'Alive In The Sea Of Information' is the shortest track here, but in it's 8min lifespan, manages to soar between the elevated electronics of Tangerine Dream and the religious effect of Popol Vuh in one succinct sweep of synths, rising to a spine melting crescendo after 6 minutes and opening your soul for the rest of the session. 'Damaged Kids' is initially part Wolf Eyes horror ambient and part Delia Derbyshire radiophonics, exploring the outer limits of their gears spooking capabilities before turning into a lush swell of krautrock optimism worthy of Ashra. Field recordings are prominently employed on 'Up In The Air' to add a wonderous sense of spatial dislocation to the drifting synth washes, cleansing the palette for 'Living Room' with more Gottsching esque mid-distance guitar stares and cosmic plumes of sinewaves shooting like sonic spermatozoa into the ether, fertilizing your surroundings with an unpredictable tranquility and brooding intent. Trust us, if you reach this far, you'll be left in a hollowed mess by the last 5 minutes. Like any strong psychedelic drugs, care and caution should always be applied for the trip, and we'd compare this to DMT, meaning listeners should savour the trip for special occasions with enough time and mental energy to apply to the intricacies and tactility of the substance. If you've not tried Emeralds before, prepare yourself, it's going to be special. Recommended for fans of everyone from Coil to Deathprod to Terry Riley - just immense.
Cat. number: NFP35CD
Year: 2009

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