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Lid EMBA: Terminal Muse: Blue

Terminal Muse: Blue, the second EP in a trilogy by Lid EMBA, is a curious case. Rooted in distortion, industrial sounds, and odd loops, its good qualities are buried underneath its bad. In other words, everything musical about the EP is ruined by ridiculous and often annoying noise, making it perhaps the most self-defeating record I've ever heard.

The pseudonym for Atlanta, Georgia's Sean Moore, Lid EMBA is "dedicated to the cost of persistence in art."* During the year-long recording of the first EP in the trilogy (Red), Moore underwent medical treatment, and he decided to base his work on the idea that "creative urge is actually a curse, a disease, an incurable infection that both drives the artist while draining his or her life-force."* Blue marries "dissonance, crunching synthesizers, blips, bloops, ice cold organs, lush orchestral swells, stuttering drums" with "shrewd and eccentric compositional scheme underpinning the surface irrationality that values symmetry, balance, and the superimposition and collision of variable melodic and rhythmic cells."* Regardless of pretentions, the work is simultaneously intriguing, dull, beautiful, boring, and synthetic. It's more remarkable for its ambition and dedication than for its musical qualities (of which there are few).

Opener "Dawning" is damn near unlistenable; synthesizers and loops melt as blips and electronic stuttering give the impression that the disc is defective. "Macedonia" fares a bit better due to its inclusion of drums and a slightly more melodic focus (although it's still far from enjoyable), while "Iscariot" is fairly cold and affective (in a good way) despite its static surface. "Dusking" is what would happen if Mike Oldfield played around with computerized instruments, and closer "Zakula" is arguably the perfect dance track for a geeky prom.

Terminal Muse: Blue is special because of its uniqueness and bravery. The tracks will only appeal to a very select few people because there are barely any elements of musicality in them. For most listeners, Blue will wear out its welcome within seconds; in fact, I'd be surprised to find someone who actually wants to hear it.


Track Listing

  1. Dawning
  2. Macedonia
  3. Stuttercrow
  4. Iscariot
  5. Dusking
  6. Zakula
  7. Macedonian [versioned by James Plotkin]

Added: October 2nd 2011
Reviewer: Jordan Blum
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 2023
Language: english

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