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Emeralds 

Bullshit Boring Drone Band (American Tapes)

Why name your disc Bullshit Boring Drone Band? Because Emeralds consists of three dudes who know they're exploring the same sound that a zillion other bands are: the extended, free-form drone (think the Firestarter soundtrack, Eno's Ambient series, or the modulating hum of your refrigerator . . . only really fuckin' loud).

But Emeralds itself isn't boring; its just starting to get its feet wet in experimental music. Employing guitar, synths, tapes, and electronics, the group produces crisp blue tones and serene washes of feedback. Played at low volume, this three-track disc could even lead new-age heads in meditation, which is kinda the problem. Live, Emeralds fortifies the pretty vibes with quaking, low frequencies, turning its gentle swoosh into dynamic, multilayered psychedelia. This means Emeralds -- much like Growing before it -- needs to devise a recording method for bottling that live energy. It's a challenge that this young and adventurous trio should be up for.

More by Justin F. Farrar

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