Does It Look Like I’m Here?
Everyone seems to be talking about this record, so I finally had to sit down and reckon with it. Available on CD and in a double gatefold vinyl package the trio here is John Elliott, Steve Hauschildt and Mark McGuire and this is their third full-length release. Right from the top there are hues of harmonic tones reminiscent of so much that evolved from the beloved era better known as Krautrock. This is something new though, incorporating a layer of the known and the next. Stringy, warm and dare I say dreamy, one can almost hear the sound of multiple colors popping on Candy Shoppe. Variable electronics fuse with guitar in a hazy, laidback mix. Double Helix stirs things up with vintage hooks ala Tangerine Dream or Holger Czukay. Complete with soft edges and sparkling rhythms, this is most certainly what one would call an LP as in long-player! There’s a complete thought even though Does It Look Like I’m Here? poses the ultimate of questions. The listener can appreciate something here about deep listening as this record washes over your body like an MRI would scan. Stay still and pay attention, and close your eyes for full impact. It pulses with bright melodies that retain a low-rise stream-of-consciousness throughout, blending shoegazer polish with psychedelic hutzpah. I love the racing speed of the title track, gushing droplets of spunky spacey electronica. Though a great track unto itself Now You See Me perhaps is the only cut that stands out awkwardly, using a vocal sample and less disguised guitars. Inducing a whirling haziness and synergistic pattern tracks like Shade and Summerdata really enforce the overall atmosphere as one of free falling in open air. The residual effects of where Emeralds have picked up from and produced here may give new breath to the entire backcatalogue of stalwarts like Can, Neu and Amon Düül. Sweet, sophisticated without any cloying aftertaste.