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What Happened

Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (58 ratings)
What Happened album cover
Alive in the Sea of Information
Damaged Kids
Up in the Air
Living Room
Disappearing Ink
Album Information

Total Tracks: 5   Total Length: 57:18

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Shrieks of misalliance


If you could charter a tiny spacecraft to embed microphones in your brain to record the frantic electrical activity as your body rushes with euphoria, I imagine the results would be similar to the music found on What Happened http://quebelleepoque.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/emeralds-what-happenened-no-fun-productions/#more-107

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Meditative Approach


I've been listening these guys sporadically over the last few years, and I must say, that this full-length is a welcome surprise. While their louder, more full-bodied compositions are worth seeking out, the lush kosmiche here is truly other-wordly. I must add a caveat to the previous review--Tangerine Dream and Cluster are good reference points if you mention specific reference points. To me, the best comparisons would be Tangerine Dream's "Atem" and Cluster's "1971".

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from piccadllyrecords.com


Emeralds is at the forefront of a new American movement that continues the experimentation in analog electronics of the 60s and 70s while ignoring the formulaic and boring turn electronic music took in the later part of the 20th century. Add a renewed energy gained from their connections to the noise movement, and you have some of the most original and true music of the new century. "What Happened" continues their exploration in tonal beauty of their recent work that brought to mind pioneers like Tangerine Dream and Cluster, while presenting a new approach to structure that brings to mind masters like Luc Ferrari and opens our ears to a new universe full of astonishing possibilities. This is the true new American infinite electronic music of our present. Recorded by Emeralds and mastered by James Plotkin. This is truly lovely stuff, perfect for horizontal living,

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They Say All Music Guide

Followers of the No Fun Productions label are in for a little surprise with Emeralds’ What Happened. Although it’s easy to make a case for its release on that particular label (drones, gritty textures, crackling revved amps, etc.), this album is a lot less noisy than its average production, and there is nothing harsh about it. In fact, What Happened’s lineage evokes a lot more early Tangerine Dream (circa Zeit) and Klaus Schulze (circa Picture Music) than Merzbow or Thurston Moore. Analog keyboards seem — the cover lists no instrumentation — to provide the core of the group’s sound, with maybe drone guitars added (or keyboard patches ran through guitar effects or old sputtering amplifiers). Tracks like “Alive in the Sea of Information” and “Up in the Air” have a distinct Schulze quality: aerial, slow-paced, melodically-inventive over a minimal chordal framework, exploratory in a spiritual sense. “Disappearing Ink” starts like one of Robert Fripp’s Frippertronics pieces: looped, ethereal, elegant, expanding to the point of gorgeousness. Those are all commendable influences for an analog synth trio, but don’t be fooled: What Happened is not all (or at all) about the past. The sound design and approach are deeply rooted in early 21st century drone/noise culture. This all makes the album trippy yet relevant, oddly nostalgic yet resolutely forward-looking: a step back (to analog technology) in order to advance. A very strong album by a surprising trio. – François Couture

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