Boomkat Product Review:
Premier reissue of an overlooked 1983 avant synth-pop gem by Dome/Wire’s Bruce Gilbert & Graham Lewis, joined by Mute maven Daniel Miller at an early crest of their combined powers - newly remastered by Pole.
Duet Emmo, an anagram of ‘Dome’ and ‘Mute’, produced only one LP under this guise, and best believe it’s a doozy. Holding two outstanding numbers in the icy 8 min dirge ‘Or So It Seems’ and its up-stepping variant ‘Heart of Hearts (Or So It Seems)’ which comprised the corresponding singles (and were sampled by Alan Wilder’s Recoil), the album holds its own strange space between Dome’s offbeat experimentalism and solo projects by Gilbert (‘This Way’) and Lewis (He Said) that would follow in its wake, with a vital x-variable coming from Mute boss Daniel Miller (The Normal), then in the thick of work with Depeche Mode.
No matter what angle it’s approached from, the record is a real sore thumb in any of its makers’ catalogues, and, with the benefit of hindsight, one surely future-proofed by its mix of bittersweet, chamber-like experimental synth-pop oddness and runs into oblique post-industrialism. The aforementioned single tracks are big highlights and clearly worth a gander if you don’t already know, but also best taken in context of the full work, which spans the clenched torture chamber waltz of ‘Hill of Men’, plus uncanny pre-echoes of Dopplereffekt at their most far out in ‘Friano’, and an amazing slug of drip-off synth tang in ‘The First Person’, alongside a 16 minute slide into pitching post-industrial drone isolationism on ‘Long Sledge’.