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EMERALDS

Progressive Electronic • United States


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Emeralds biography
Electronic trio Emeralds employs a mix of droning electronic with emphasis on ambient, Berlin School, noise and the improvised. John Elliott, Mark McGuire and Steve Hauschildt began playing music together under the name Fancelions in 2005 in Cleveland's western suburbs of Bay Village and Westlake. However, due to a desire to simplify and focus more on live improvisation, they re-formed as Emeralds, playing their first show under that name in June 2006. Since then the group has released over forty recordings, on various independent labels including their own imprints Wagon and Gneiss Things. The album Does It Look Like I'm Here?, released on Editions Mego in 2010, is their most widely known release to date. It received the Album of the Year award from Drowned in Sound amongst favorable reviews from other publications. Mark McGuire and Steve Hauschildt also perform and record under their own names, while John Elliott performs as Outer Space and records under the Imaginary Softwoods, Colored Mushroom and the Medicine Rocks and other aliases.

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EMERALDS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

EMERALDS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Laying Under Leaves
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Servant
2007
3.00 | 1 ratings
Allegory of Allergies
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Smoke Signals
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Real Clean Gang
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Grass Ceiling
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Solar Bridge
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
What Happened
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Overlook
2009
4.00 | 2 ratings
Emeralds
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
Does It Look Like I'm Here?
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Just to Feel Anything
2012

EMERALDS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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EMERALDS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

EMERALDS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Emeralds by EMERALDS album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Emeralds
Emeralds Progressive Electronic

Review by Guldbamsen
Special Collaborator Retired Admin

4 stars Fiji

Starting back in the early 70s, the Berlin School of electronics had a huge part in sculpting the Krautrock experimentations throughout Germany. Electronic music back then was obscure and secluded - hard to navigate in, as most of the sounds and tapestries seemed hook-less and totally devoted to an intangible and formless universe. Tangerine Dream then proposed a way out of the black madness - a way to envelope these synthesizers and strange bionic textures in an easier to swallow package. Melodies!!! Now, whilst Phaedra always gets credited as their magnum opus - selling a huge amount of albums at the time, as well as opening the world to electronic music, it was first with Stratosfear that they carved a future signature sound, that would continue to inspire artists well into the subsequent decades.

Emeralds are part of this heritage, and while you quite easily are able spot the different influences, their is still some kind of magic attached to this music. A porous veil of uncertainty - a luminous scenery of neon colours, rainbow constrictors and pulsating galaxies throwing monoliths into our milky-way like rippling swaying rhythms from beyond the blackness of space. Yes you hear the Stratosfear fingerprint - partly in the voluptuous melodies - but even more so in the slowly paddling sequencing of the backstroking rhythm-section. Then you get those misty morning hazes reminiscent of the early Schulze albums such as Cyborg and Timewind, though on here they do get to frolic and bask way up front in the mix - like a green fog you open up the front door to - welcoming it in to melt into the steam from the shower.

'Oh yeah we get it - it's just one of those wannabe electronic mush albums with borrowed segments coming out the wazoo!!'

Well not exactly as it turns out. There's wannabes and giraffes. One of those carries around a neck long enough to scout over the hedges and see what's what - and know which way the wind blows - accumulating sound and expression through an inspiration, yes, but more importantly by way of utilising that as a means of transport into the artistic and free. Nothing exists in a vacuum, and if we set aside everything in music, and start from scratch, we'll quickly turn into raving lunatics banging on rocks with tree-branches. No, history is everything - as long as you know what to do with it.

This self-titled release from Emeralds is divided into two pieces. One that flirts around with the instant feel good vibes, that quite quickly gives off its melodies and secrets through blitzing lightsaber electronics and booming underground swamps of big grown up melodies for kids. They're so catchy and seductive - like throwing candy at a mule - or wrapping your ears around a sofa.

Then the mighty 18 minute closer turns on the heat, and we slowly but comfortably are welcomed by an electronic heartbeat, a huge living creature of sound - softly evaporating music molecules out of your speakers. I really dig the whole feel of the synths here, and it's as if the pieces up to it were meant as a good vibrant warm up, before they finally decided to stretch their legs and really open up the faucets. Describing the way this track makes me feel takes me all the way across the Pacific ocean to the islands of Fiji, where once a year a beautiful and rare meeting takes place. Thousands upon thousands of luminescent jellyfish come together to mate - and as far as the eye can see, there is this enormous organic being slushing softly in the waters - radiating, breathing, pulsating with entrancing neon lights and flickering intensities. 4.5 stars.

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 Does It Look Like I'm Here? by EMERALDS album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Does It Look Like I'm Here?
Emeralds Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars A modern and beautiful take on the kosmische musik from days of yore.

On Does it Look Like I'm Here?, electronic trio Emeralds give a bit of a makeover to the sounds of classic Berlin school electronic music and, unlike many of their contemporaries, they pull it off quite well. The classic "fuzzy" analog synth sound is still intact, and spacey drones and distant melodies still fade in and out as usual, cascading electronic shimmers still temporarily pass through the soundscape; this album has all of the ingredients of the classics we all know and love.

However, what makes this album different is the momentum this album has that doesn't let up until it finishes. There is a 21st century kind of density in the music and persistent activity, constantly adding new layers to each song until it finally ends on a subtle climax, and this makes for a very engaging album. The title track on this album is especially dense, almost reaching a kind of hypnotizing harshness, but this actually works well considering that many of the tracks here are particularly dreamy in the most lucid way possible.

Though the synths have the retro analog sound, the production on this album is very clean, which definitely enhances the sheer density of the music that I mentioned before. It's nice to know that some artists understand that mixing retro sounds and modern technology can yield very positive results when done correctly, and Does it Look Like I'm Here? is the perfect example of this.

If you're into the classics of this type of electronic music but are looking for something with tastefully added modern elements, I wouldn't second guess recommending this album.

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