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Boomkat Product Review:
Emeralds' John Elliott surfaces on Blast First Petite with his second Outer Space album of 2012, following the recent Akashic Record (Events: 1986-1990) on his own Spectrum Spools label. Working with Andrew Vere, Philip Whiteside, Drew McDowall, Adam Miller and Jeff Hatfield, using primarily Mellotron-400 and modular synthesis, Outer Space II apparently marks the severance of the project's preoccupations with death and anxiety, and an attempt to explore a more open, breathable sound and mood. The short 'I' and 'II' pieces are certainly airy ambient in the vein of, say, Eno and Lanois' Apollo soundtracks, but there's nothing particularly calming or meditative about '3322', its jagged rhythm beds summoning Suicide and, at a push, even the industrial techno of mid-90s Downwards. 'Vanishing Act' is an extended exploration of cosmic pads and arpeggios which, like the Spectrum Spools LP, has a strong flavour of Carl Craig and Tangerine Dream to it, while the 24:42 'Liquid Systems Functions' occupies an even more rarified astral plain of mournful drones and pinballing synth noise.