Emo was released two years after Blither, David Haines' debut for Sigma Editions. This CD contains three long works (16 to 25 minutes) titled after rock formations. The music has very little do to with harsh granitic asperities; on the contrary Haines creates strange, delicate atmospheres. On his previous effort he focused on the sound of the piano. Whether he uses the same source or not this time around is quite impossible to assert (except for the beginning of "Peak Communism," obviously piano) -- the issue is irrelevant anyway. Haines' art bears a strong similarity with some of Koji Asano's work (like The Last Shade of Evening Falls): puzzling and entrancing. Long gestures are inhabited by infinite microscopic variations. The pieces move slowly, gracefully, granular synthesis constantly altering the shape of things. During the last minutes of "Kosciousko" a melody -- just a ghost -- emerges and re-centers the piece around a tonal pole reminiscent of Godspeed You Black Emperor! On the other hand, "Gibraltar" is made of seemingly aleatory synthesizer tones backed by an ethereal shroud of sound very close to what Hazard achieved on Wind. So what if Haines recycles some ideas from his contemporaries; his results are worthy of any sound art fan's attention. Sigma's featureless packaging gives no clue of the beauty engraved on this CD.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture