Emeralds - "Solar Bridge"
(Hanson Records 2008, HN183)
From Aural Innovations #40 (September 2008)
There can be few post-1960’s century bands who would dare start out playing live shows using only television sets as sound sources, but Emeralds is one such. Now armed with an array of synthesizers and heavily treated guitar, this American three-piece have progressed from sound effects collages to blissed-out VCS3 drone. “Solar Bridge” marks their full-length debut, although at 26 minutes total duration, it is more of an EP than album.
There are just two tracks, the first being “Magic”, a glistening and faintly pulsing expanse of sound, built from walls of analogue synths, oozing through your consciousness for twelve minutes. On the flipside, “The Quaking Mess” sounds so much like the opening moments of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” that it is a surprise when Wright and Gilmour fail to appear. Instead, the gentle washes of sound last the whole 14 minute journey, with gradually increasing intensity and augmented by Mark McGuire’s guitar hovering Gottsching-like in the mix.
While lacking any kind of real musical bite, this disc will nonetheless appeal to fans of ambient sounds, as generated by the likes of Ash Ra and Spiritualized.
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Reviewed by Pat Albertson