EMERALDS & AARON DILLOWAY "Under Pressure" c60 (Hanson)

The work of Aaron Dilloway should be no mystery to the readers of these pages, label head at the venerable Hanson Records he has been a constant source of releases new, old and above all mysterious. His prodigious output as a solo artist, in collaborations and work with Wolf Eyes makes it hard not to run into his sonic incantations and for that you, listener, are better off. Here we have dilloway running alongside, instead of head-on, with Emeralds, an equally charged outfit, who have been here to western mass playing live more times than most local bands in the last 3 or so years. Again, for that, we're all the better.

The tape seems to walk between the worlds i imagine both of these artists inhabiting though i doesn't feel like their doing this out of a lack of shared space or goals, it's two languages that meet without needing to be translated to understand each other. The emeralds vibes are often high and in front, the repetitive warmth of analog synth lines (can't tell if they're loops or not) carried in on a bed of fog and haze. There's a really melodic, almost nostalgic/evocative tone the synths bring that allow the bed of noises to speak much more than usual. A bit of what sounds like tape fudgery has a real garbled feel that is a well timed switch out of the swelling, moody synth-mospheres. These hold solid and work as a nice contrast to the role-reversal moments that are a lot more dense and give the sensation of drowning in the haze feeling light disappear and yr eardrums burst, a nice second side to the out of body ether tones of the first side.

A solid, thoughtful take.

black and white cover, white tape. Still available from the label.