Lid Emba release #4, and #2 in the Terminal Muse series. My motto at the time was “Wake Up! Art Kills.” Absolutely nothing danceable, and often what sounds like loops aren’t and vice versa. Real-time execution was the preference, including a whole lotta flesh and blood drumming.
“Like Goya setting up a Tangerine Dream covers band.” – 20jazzfunkgreats
“Pretentiousness aside, its pretty damn good and droney.” – Heaven is an Incubator
“Inventive and curious, kind of ‘let’s see what could have happened if Wendy Carlos wasn’t lost in soundtracks.'” – Terrascope
“Ambient with extra frightnight. Sounds like snow crunching under your feet, accompanied by the sound of your labored breath.” – Acid Ted
“Super cool electro with dash of post rock or even prog. All instrumental. All kick ass.” – KZSU
“As strange as it is sophisticated, this is definitely a worthy exploration of the fields of experimental sound first investigated by the likes of Cluster, Eno, and This Heat.” – One true Dead Angel
“Unlike the average modern day synthesizer artist who wants crystal clear sounds, Lid Emba seems to grovel in distortion and accidentals. Heavy and hard.” – Babysue
“Not the sort of thing to play on a daily basis, but quite good for an all out ear cleansing experience.” – Vital Weekly
“The tracks will only appeal to a very select few people because there are barely any elements of musicality in them. For most listeners, Blue will wear out its welcome within seconds; in fact, I’d be surprised to find someone who actually wants to hear it.” – Terrascope
Mastered by James Plotkin
Release DateJuly 26, 2011
As i've stated time and again here at OB, i'm a big fan of folks trying out new sounds. It's the exploratory nature of beat music that tends to make it exciting for my ear holes. Enter Lid Emba. The Stickfigure Recordings artist is back with Terminal Muse: Blue, the second in a trilogy "dedicated to the cost of persistence in art." To call it different would be an understatement. This is spastic beat music for those with criminally short attention spans, ironic for such long tracks. i try to stay away from cutting and pasting press releases, but i thought this one was particularly well worded: "As a defense against succumbing completely to such a harsh view, Lid EMBA imagines a musical world in which the three chord, hard-fast-rules that broke the back of a tepid progressive rock scene never came to pass. Instead, the intensity intended for punk is absorbed, minus the blues quotient, and married to the avant garde moves of European electronic music and American jazz, creating a more surreal but no less visceral, liberating force. While a less experienced practitioner of such a description would create an album of monochrome fury, Terminal Muse: Blue is a varied and well measured listen. Sure, there's dissonance, crunching synthesizers, blips, bloops, ice cold organs, lush orchestral swells, stuttering drums, and absolutely nothing danceable in the rolling-at-2:00-in-the-morning sense. Simultaneously, there's a shrewd and eccentric compositional scheme underpinning the surface irrationality that values symmetry, balance, and the superimposition and collision of variable melodic and rhythmic cells." i LOVE that "...absolutely nothing danceable in the rolling-at-2:00-in-the-morning sense" line. That's good writing there. And this here is some good, avant garde listening here.
This is the second installment of a color-themed trilogy from Atlanta, GA's Lid Emba (actually one Sean Moore), with seven tracks of heavy rhythms swaddled in dark-ambient drone and noise. Early works by Cluster and This Heat are big influences on the experimental sounds that manifest themselves here; the opening track "dawning" brings the noise immediately, with stuttering bursts of static and keyboard drone that lead into "macedonia," with more machine-like processed rhythms doing battle with some truly avant, manic drumming that keeps rolling off in different directions without ever completely abandoning the beat. The fascination with processed noises and erratic beats continues on "stuttercrow," which sounds like a demented futuristic take on calypso music -- a transmission from the lost islands of the future, perhaps? Things shift into a more downtempo gear on the lengthy "iscariot," where ominious drone and slow, muted beats are the dominant feature; the piece evolves through the gradual layering of sonic textures and subtly growing dynamics, but never so much that it loses its languid feeling. The tracks that follow, "dusking" and "zakula," mark a return to the beats and noise combination of the earlier tracks, although the latter is initially less agitated than the others, even with the inclusion of some static-laden loops, although it becomes more intense over time without becoming strident. The final track, "macedonian," is a supremely devolved remix of "macedonia" by James Plotkin (who also mastered the disc) that turns the track into something even more bizarre and explosive. As strange as it is sophisticated, this is definitely a worthy exploration of the fields of experimental sound first investigated by the likes of Cluster, Eno, and This Heat. Art kills, indeed.