[16 September 2010]
One of the many known pleasures of Oneohtrix Point Never’s 2009 double disc opus Rifts was the conciseness of its labyrinthine edifices. Emeralds, sonically related brethren who likewise hail from the post-noise diaspora (an exodus into drone, psychedelia, and hypnagogic—all of which apply here), have nabbed the mastering guy from Rifts, experimental guitarist James Plotkin, and constructed an album every bit as densely variegated and tremblingly beautiful as the former album. Does it Look Like I’m Here? is a crystal-clean top-notch piece of kosmische shimmer spliced with post-rock whimsy and mostly allocated in pop-length plots. After an incipient period flooded with limited run tapes and CD-Rs, Emeralds have brought their abstract ideas into focus. The achingly beautiful “Candy Shoppe” sets the stage. The listener is captured in the cut’s synth algebra, inert in it, while the tingly sensation of its blissful atmospheric chords massage the eardrum and brain behind it alike. In the world of Does It Look Like I’m Here?, the brain is only a vessel, a prosthetic for the body’s experience of the heavenly melodies. Throughout, Emeralds proceeds from the cinematic wash and still of the Brock Van Wey-ish “Goes By” to the title tracks, which builds from a the tension of a goblin-hacking Nintendo arpeggio to a mounting intensity not unlike Fuck Buttons’s “Space Mountain” without the drum circles. Yes, Emeralds, it looks like you’re here. It seems you have arrived.