JD Emmanuel - Rain Forest Music
In the last couple of years we’ve been experiencing a renaissance dedicated to the early 80’s modern composers. Artists such as Laraaji, Ariel Kalma, Iasos and Joanna Brouk privately recorded and released synth based music based on the work of the fore-bearers of minimalism: Terry Riley, La Monte Young and Philip Glass. This new music took on a more relaxing tone with repetitive figures, spaced-out drones and often the sounds of actual environments. Private issue new age, (often referred to as PINA), would later be co-opted and commercialized for waiting rooms and deprivation tanks but in its halcyon days, it was a new form of ambient music with a serene psychedelic glaze more likely lumped in with experimental music than anything commercial.
Daniel, or JD Emmanuel is one of these composers. He took in a heavy dose of Reich and Riley, not to mention long form rock music a la Hawkwind during the 1970s while beginning to build a home stdio. By the early 80’s, Emmanuel was ripe for producing with a newly acquired Crumar Traveler-1 organ, effects, analog synths and guitar. His stylistic flare leaned towards creating short melodic, ambient passages with a distinct mystical resonance. He took single chords and played within the key improvising subtle and cloud-like tones that were deliberate in their pace. Paired with his music, were washes of white noise, streams and birds to fill out the sonics of what would be his first LP, Rain Forest Music. The overall effect is lush and warming with the meditative qualities gradually blurring into infinite layers of cosmic beauty.
He quietly recorded and privately released 3 LPs during the early to mid 80’s which pretty much went unnoticed. When a record collector discovered a box of Emmanuel’s LPs in a thrift store in 2005, it slowly lead to his resurgence with Emmanuel now recording and performing once again. Two of his other 80’s LPs have been reissued and now Rain Forest Music, his debut, is seeing the light of day for the first time since its 1981 release. Beautifully pressed, remastered and cut by Rashad Becker with printed inner sleeve. Just 1000 of these beauties in print so you know what to do. (Dom)
Check out a track here.