Important Records have issued a new vinyl edition of J.D. Emmanuel’s 1982 synthesizer classic, Wizards.
James Daniel Emmanuel cited Terry Riley’s organ works and German kosmische music as his main inspirations, but his warm, melodic and highly expressive take on electronic minimalism doesn’t really sound like anyone but him. There’s a strong whiff of New Age to proceedings, but none of the self-indulgence or cheese generally associated with that genre.
The original ’82 edition of Wizards is virtually impossible to find, and the 2007 edition that came courtesy of Dreamtime Taped Sounds was only issued in very limited quantities. Important’s new pressing of the LP, which boasts superior sound quality, is itself limited to 500 copies.
“Wizards was my first deep trance electronic music album,” says Emmanuel. “This album was inspired by Terry Riley, one of the earliest people ever to compose and perform long, extended, cyclic pieces in the electronic format. This music was composed and performed in ’81 and ’82.
“I consider this album my best work,” he continues. “The instrumentation is three Sequencial Circuits PRO-1s, Crumar Traveler One and a Yamaha SK-20, all real time recording to a Teac 4-track reel-to-reel. I mixed the four tracks to a Teac A-7300 Master 2-Track tape recorder using a DeltaLab DL-2 to create the delay track. In 2006, I used a Tascam 34B 4-track to remaster all my master tapes to digital master of 196 KHz/24 bit .WAV files using Soundforge 8 software.”
Together with Chris Carter’s The Spaces Between, this is one of the year’s most important and timely reissues, a key antecedent to the contemporary work of Oneohtrix Point Never, Emeralds et al. You can check out one of it’s tracks below, gratis.
A1. Part I: Attaining Peace
A2. Part II: Prayer
A3. Part III: Focusing Within
B1. Part IV: Expanding Into The Universe
B2. Part V: At-One-Ment
Download: J.D. Emmanuel – At-One-Ment