CD Reviews Emmett Elvin - Emmettronica

Published on 7th August 2015

Emmett Elvin – Emmettronica 1998 – 2013


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We are all travelling through time and space but there’s not enough time and some sort of void in space.

By the time you have read this we will have gone a lot further on our journey and you will be screaming at me to give you back your precious time that I have wasted. But I will not. Mwahahaha.

Emmett Elvin’s second album arrived a few mile-days back, at an interval between waypoints on my own personal journey when these intervals are getting shorter and shorter. Also, I am getting shorter and shorter.

But the universe is getting bigger. It just got a bit bigger, still.

You know those scientists are looking for the Dark Matter that would explain why the Universe doesn’t seem to have enough stuff in it? Well, I think I know what the stuff is and they’re looking in the wrong place. And time and space are one and the same thing. So this album – stick with this rambling nonsense – covers time and fills a space. [EDITOR: Nailed it, Phil]

To me, it seems like only a couple of weeks ago that his solo debut, Bloody Marvels, popped onto the mat in my hall. It was not. Time may be a constant but my concept of it bloody well isn’t. So forgive me if it seems like Mr Elvin’s second album has come hot on the heels of the first, beautifully timed to maintain the momentum of success his first album generated. It may not be.

Since I got my copy of Emmettronica 1998-2013 I’ve scarcely been within earshot of a device capable of playing it – without playing it.

Time has become still more distorted. Despite my perception that time is racing by, I find myself extending car journeys so I can be in the car a bit longer to catch the next track on this album. Every car journey lately has taken place between 1998 and 2013 and I don’t even own a DeLorean or a flux capacitor!

Some artists face a tricky process with their second album. It must be such a relief to finish your first album. I think it is also very brave to step out from the safety of group membership into the limelight. It must feel like a massive gamble. So even thinking about a second album, especially after a well established career as the keyboard player in distinguished bands, not least Knifeworld, must be daunting for any normal human. Were I Emmett, coming up with material that is inevitably going to be compared to the outstanding quality of the first release, I would succumb to ennui and despair – and subsequently fail to produce anything! Luckily, Emmett isn’t me and he has shown perspicacity in compiling a wonderfully varied and numerous array of pithy and sometimes quirky tracks.

And varied they are! We have 70’s funk, jazz, droning, ambience, jungle, rock, riffs, electronica, grooves, soundscapes and all manner of other adjectives! It would be an easy conclusion to arrive at, before even hearing it, that this is an album in disarray. Wrong. It has an holistic feel and the tracks just flow.

It is almost as if this album is experimental. Not in the overused clichéd sense that is too often used to describe music that isn’t popular. Not because it might have the odd diminished minor 7th chord in it. I mean properly experimental, in the less often used mad-musical-temporal-scientist-employing-the-methodoly-of-empiricism sense, mixing ingredients to test his hypothesis. This is the result. The findings are published in the journal, “Bad Elephant Scientist”.

If “experimental” is a stratagem, then it has paid off. Just as well because there are Time Police and I have crossed the line in my DeLorean… er… Fiesta. I saw the Time Police on TV in that documentary with Jean Claude Van Damme. Some sort of war across time. Or something. There is no sense that these tracks are individual factions in some time-space war and that the album is a result of a hard-fought détente. This album is a good way to occupy your time.

And I have it on good authority that there is a follow-up to Bloody Marvels on the near horizon. I don’t want to come across as all gushy and sycophantic, but I can’t wait!!!

Back to Emmettronica; just what can you expect? Tunes. Originality. Short tracks, some cow-bell. Just buy it for goodness sake! It will help you on your journey, to explain where that intangible missing matter is and help to fill the void.

So the results are in:

Emmettronica 1998-2013 1 : 0 Void in Time and Space United

TRACK LISTING
Disc One
(40:45)
01. Overbaked Overture (1:19)
02. Poor Zokko (1:28)
03. Bugshutter (3:15)
04. Interfog (1:01)
05. Blue Nails (4:02)
06. 3AM on the River of Sleep (3:15)
07. Marshmellow (2:58)
08. Wayfarer (4:22)
09. Andromeda Backwash (2:06)
10. Last Sunrise on Earth (2:53)
11. Phantom Arboretum (3:16)
12. Secondary (1:28)
13. Electropipe (3:18)
14. Soltair (2:14)
15. Nostar (2:00)
16. Radar Search (1:50)

Disc Two (39:37)
01. Cosmonautilus (2:10)
02. My Headless Tortoise (2:11)
03. Burn & Shine (3:55)
04. The Burnt Ocean (3:18)
05. The Croaker (3:23)
06. Lunopolis (3:36)
07. Fergetit (2:24)
08. Occurzaalite (3:42)
09. Those Shirts (3:58)
10. Starbuck’s End (3:42)
11. Mattmath (2:23)
12. Monkey Fist (3:09)
13. Polly & Joan (1:46)

Total Time – 1:20:22

INSTRUMENTATION
All instruments by Emmett Elvin except where noted below:-
Dr Matthew Day – “for his contribution to Mattmath“.
Mr Henry Platt – Jen Synthesiser on Lunopolis.
David Wright – Sliced, diced and reconstituted tenor saxophone on My Headless Tortoise.
Duncan Western – Sliced, diced and reconstituted drums on My Headless Tortoise.
Ms Miranda Barber – Sampled voice on more than one track, principally on Fergetit.

ADDITIONAL INFO
Record Label: Bad Elephant Music
Release Date: 27th July 2015
Artwork: Emmett Elvin

LINKS
Emmett Elvin: Website | Facebook | Bandcamp
Bad Elephant Music: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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