"Unclouded Cerebration" is the wondrous debut solo synthesizer album of Nicholas Emmert, guitarist for the mind expanding psychedelic prog trio, Mammatus.
Across two side long journeys, analog synthesizers and touches of acoustic guitar -recorded and mixed entirely on analog tape- lend textures and tones as though the music is a transmission broadcasted across a celestial expanse from an unimaginable distance. However, there are earthly grounding qualities that help it strike a remarkable balance between cosmos and terra firma. Along the way, sonic evidence of the corporeal serves as a reminder that there is in fact a human being -a wizard, a creator- at the helm.
Side A's "Psychoactive Light" is swathed in luscious tape hiss. An airy and uplifting progression of ethereal chords beams down like the sun on a newly birthed divine being -just long enough to establish the direction of the voyage. Some squirrelly tape manipulation modulates the key and is punctuated abruptly by a moment of static. The gears shift to an alien drone, another instant of g-force tape speed strain and the ship settles to light speed. More rapturous synth pads, this time with wandering melodic content. The sense of ecstasy, bordering on overwhelming bliss, diffuses to hold higher frequencies momentarily, growing again into a waterfall of echos and acoustic guitar harmonics. The sounds trail off into the distance concluding the composition.
On the flipside, "Polished Fog" picks up at the acoustic guitar harmonics where Side A leaves off, but with new elements of swirling phase as if it were to reveal we have entered a parallel dimension in the multiverse. We begin to notice the accumulation and decay of phrases on tape loop. Again, it trails off into the distance and a sudden transition similar to that on Side A introduces an entirely new environment. Deeper square waves of filtered drone are employed as a foundation while triumphant -yet still wandering- melodic lines continue the time-lag accumulation. It is thick and lush, but very expressive. It develops to a point where a motorik krautrock beat could drop. Instead, a tick-tock pitter-patter slowly unveils itself through the haze to add a metered rhythmic element while slippery tones weave their way. After several playful moments, it all dismantles slightly, shedding layers, and fading out.
"Unclouded Cerebration" is a transformative listen.
released May 13, 2016
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