EDR 14: Various Artists: „Emerald Dreams III“
"Three Is A Magic Number" - and so is the magnificent third volume of "Emerald Dreams" a bewitching moment on your stereo. Whereas Volume I was a hotchpotch that contained strong elements in the new school of Disco and Volume II explored further into the realms of modern House music, Volume III seems to be devoid of the club context… almost. Again, it is a real go nogo-selection in styles. The choice of tunes ranges from low-fi Indietronic, meditative Electronica and even a solo piano in the midst of all to slow Disco and retro-futuristic electro vibes. But this time, the continuous mix, which is again provided by Fred Scholl, is ever more like driving in a car on some outlandish desert road with a magic radio constantly switching through the most amazing channels… Eric Schemer and Fred Scholl wish you a safe journey home!
1. Barclay Heights - Walk Among the Skylights
Another bedroom producer who has just escaped his teenagehood demonstrates that the chill wave-genre belongs to the young and gifted songwriters of today. Zach Kollar drops a lot of science with his debut-EP, "Saphead" from which "Walk Among the Skylights" is taken. The melancholy is palpable and has never tasted so bitter-sweet as with this mournful musical statement.
2. Nathan Swiss - Watch You
We'll funk it up for y'all! Nathan Swiss from the Netherlands is a disciple from the disco house camp who knows how to add a lot of depth to his productions. "Watch You" is that sort of a crispy slow burner which makes your feet tap and your head nod at the same time. Get into a groovy sexy vibe and prepare yourself for the night.
3. Holobeams - Glimmer
If you'd painted a picture to this music it would turn out to become a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors. Glasgow based producer Iain Foxwell paints musical pictures of disarming, heart-warming qualities. His glimmering sounds shine through a thick wall of resonating synth layers and ascend like sparks from a campfire.
4. James Bond Motherfucker - Grossstadttraum
Finn Lübke's "Grossstadttraum" is the second track off his Berlin E.P. which Emerald and Doreen Recordings signed for the Emerald Dreams series. After "Mauerpark" (released on ED I) this is another ode to the big city dreams many people dwell on. The musical transmutation of those reveries is a dialogue of computer noises, lush keyboard strings and an oddly pitched vocal. There's a certain kind of tension going on in here.
5. Helveticade - Wires
Those "Wires" make you trip and mess you up a bit. Cade's exercise on the controller creates a somewhat glitchy and stuttering effect before he takes a turn to the big hymnal section of this very eclectic dreampop outfit. You wouldn't expect a break which sounds like a classical Japanese movie soundtrack. But it's in here.
6. Glimmer - Steampunk
Glimmer's "Steampunk" is shifting gears. Locus Solus' approach to the broken beat genre has an experimental but yet very enchanting touch. This track has a driving force that is simply breathtaking. What starts like a loose interplay of keyboard sounds turns into a dense jungle of various motifs. Like a large-scale composition for samplers and synthesizers.
7. Mute Empire - Naomi Misora
The misleading tag of Intelligent Dance Music has validity in Mute Empire's "Naomi Misora". Jack Ramos' progressive moves range from sweet glockenspiel to abrasive baselines. The mind-melting combination of uptempo beats, lullaby-atmospheres and pulsating arpeggios is pushing the envelope of contemporary electronic music.
8. Seazo - Black Moon
Time to cool down the engines with an atmospheric statement from the Scandinavian hemisphere. "Black Moon" by Norwegian visual artist and sound designer Johan Bøgeberg belongs to the digital side of minimalistic electronica. Glitch, polybeats combined with a lot of droids, efx and a psychedelic bass-figure add up to an outer-worldly feel you can find in the music of artists like Björk.
9. Keenhouse - Song To The Hawking Color
"Music is story, something with a beginning, a middle and an end." That's the conclusion of Ken Rangkuty a.k.a Keenhouse who has travelled a long way to become a master of musical storytelling. As a trained musician, he doesn't rely on technical gimmickry, but on impressionistic piano playing supported by electronic moods. "Song To The Hawking Color" is the ideal breakdown in this many-sided mix. Imagine Eric Satie would have had the chance to twiddle some knobs.
10. Quality Cinema - Buick
19-year-old producer John Shaughnessy from East Lansing, Michigan, has just launched his first label release with his „Slowdancing With My Subconscious“ EP on Emerald and Doreen recordings. On that occasion he shows his skills as a master of intimate songs which lyric-wise focus on the inside. The instrumental he has delivered to appear on ED III is self-sufficient from any message. Just relax, come down and take it easy on yourself.
11. Zauberfluten - Elektrisk Skyggeside
Jarle Bråthen's music is another fine example of Norway's effervescent spring of talented NuDisco-/House-producers. With it's percussive electro-funk touch "Elektrisk Skyggeside" rides the waves of what used to be called Cosmic. There are no other words than "timeless" or "classic" which could describe this combination of Rhodes and Clavinet any better.
12. Flashboy - Eclipse
What can you expect from a 20 year old producer who has recently dropped some very fine edits and remixes for artists such as Daft Punk, Justice, Sébastien Tellier or Lifelike? It's exactly what you already guessed: a perfect combination of synth music, contemporary Dreamwave and what is widely known as the French Touch. "Eclipse" hovers above the material from a decade before Pierre was born in. The track sounds more 80s than a large number of examples from people who have witnessed this era.
13. Cute Heels - Future Dancers Last Rockers
There's no Emerald Dream without the notion of true retro-futuristic dance music which has emerged from the robotic age. The stark bass-pattern leaves a cold, dark and mechanical impression, just the way it ought to be with neoclassical electro music."Future Dancers Last Rockers" is a standard of a genre that harks back to the Georgio Moroder-Munich Disco Machine.
14. Imprintafter - Chinchilla
The sudden switch to a heavily filtered down-beat ditty heralds the last section of this multi-facetted program. Beck Avila from L.A. likes to mingle heavily cut girlish vocal samples with a funky backdrop.
15. Vampire Village - Sunlight
The dream has almost come to an end, but it's still time to stretch out and let the "Sunlight" come into your bedroom. The warm vibes of Vampire Village make a perfect start into a new day ahead. The feel of Chill Wave makes this tune a perfect coda to the whole affair.
16. Korrosion - Leaving Earth Questions (Outro)
Save the last dance to this weird and puzzling musical peace from the other side of the world. Thomas Hamilton from New Zealand is tripping on some weird harmonies which might give the aural solution to the super string theory.