How I’d imagine lightwaves to sound if you could hear them hit water on a sunny day
Drone music and ambience can often be a highly divisive form of music and ‘Emanate’ fell into this category for me. Yair Elazar Glotman and Mats Erlandsson are two excellent composers who have proved they can create stunning music in previous projects. Together they collaborated on ‘Emanate’ – a 51-minute piece of music that hinged on a singular tone. I found the album impressive and difficult in equal measure.
Although ‘Emanate’ is divided into 9 segments, the album is a singular movement. It opens with a drone of strings but you can barely tell what is organic and what is electronic. Across each segment, the tone slowly shifts as it refracts and reflects on itself. Some string instruments twist and bend like a sci-fi movie soundtrack. Others take on a more zither effect and occasionally a bassy brass undercurrent joins in. It very rarely takes you by surprise and the album feels more like a meditative raja for alien yoga than anything else.
The lack of change and its slow meandering pace will make this album marmite. You’ll love it or hate it. I personally found myself appreciating the nuance and detail of how notes would slowly bend and twist but I also readily admit that this isn’t an album I would personally be hopping back into any time soon. ‘Emanate’ is for fans of ambient sci-fi scores and perhaps horror enthusiasts as the atonal shifts lend itself well to that film genre too. I found that by the time tangible shifts and any semblance of melody came in for a brief moment, I had already zoned out. I appreciate that may actually be a huge plus for many listeners though as it has a calming white noise quality to it.
The fact I didn’t gel with a whole 50 minutes of the same thing surprised me as I really enjoyed the track ‘Procession’ when I heard it as a standalone piece last month. That then led me to explore tracks on their own as palette cleansers between other pieces of music. I then found that I enjoyed the slow pauses for breath much more than having it as a whole body of work. That may not be how Yair and Mats wanted the music to be consumed but its how I’ve found it works best for me.
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