Emra Grid’s “Shays Vacation House” is a work that feels suspended in time – both ancient and modern — a microcosm that ceases to exist in any particular time or space. Cinematic opening piece “Land Is” emerges like a newly discovered fossil or relic with all the intricate beauty preserved. Sonic messages of a troubled past are etched into precious metals buried in rock. The listener is the alchemist, extracting heart-wrenching modern classical arcs.
From here we venture through vast black caverns of lost worlds and civilisations where exceptional acousmatic sound design animates amorphous creatures and entities, whose movements echo on dripping walls, yet the eerie, mysterious environment remains entirely ambiguous. “Signal” emits an elegiac widescreen beauty – as though a soul were departing the soft machine and floating to linger in Bardo. “Trace It Back” is equally as soul-stirring – like a time-lapse sequence where new life grows and blossoms. “Trace It Back II” follows, where these new forms enter and discover a vast and endless new world. “Distant Sound and the Dream” elevates us, hovering above the post-apocalyptic landscape of a scorched planet regenerating.
The cycle of life and death viewed through black clouds of volcanic dust – the grainy haze illuminated by the glow of scorching lava streams. The album’s closing passage “Fifteen Day Trilogy” is a dual struggle between sorrow and ecstasy. Longing notes ascend, briefly lingering in bliss, before falling short of euphoria as if in disappointment — like the hopes and fears of the human condition.
Emra Grid’s second Opal Tape is a profoundly beautiful work, loaded with emotional weight. Beneath its dark exterior, it exudes a tangible, elegant beauty – an inexplicable feeling that cannot be articulated but needs to be experienced. A window into the heart and mind of its creator.
– Anthony Locke