This week we get into EMERLD’s ‘It’s Only Time’
EMERLD started his musical journey at the age of 5 when his Grandmother in the UK started teaching him piano. After 5 years of classical training he started to get interested in synths and went on to produce electronic music in his teens. In his uni years, EMERLD taught himself to play guitar and went through a 5 year phase of writing melancholic acoustic tracks. Fast forward to 2012 and EMERLD had gone back to creating electronic music and started to include samples in his music. Speaking on this transition, EMERLD explained it like this: ‘I found the process of sampling a track and flipping it into something completely new totally enthralling. This addiction slowly but surely evolved in to my more hippy hoppy sound of today.’ Sampling became his new passion but to this day he still adds his own melodies and compositions to his tracks. ‘It’s Only Time’ is EMERLD’s latest drop, released through Jazz Hop Cafe, but how does this album stack up in this storied producer’s career?
From the off ‘It’s Only Time’ sounds like a comfortable bed. A warm, safe spot, encouraging you to melt into its atmosphere. However there are larger concepts at play here. EMERLD explained the concept of the album like this: ‘IOT represents a year in my life. It's a summation of hopes and fears, transition, insecurity and ultimately the realisation that it's all irrelevant. The train of time will be moving on long after we are gone, as it has done since the dawn of time before we arrived. It really doesn't matter. It's Only Time.’
Once the concept becomes clear the album really opens up but never forces any kind of thematic thinking on the listener. Instead, EMERLD subtly suggests ideas and themes whilst maintaining an almost cloud like drift in pace throughout the album. In this way ‘Its Only Time’ is indeed a fitting title. It reminds the listener that while time is finite; it's also universal and is never wasted on a little self reflection bolstered with music.
Another unique feature of ‘It’s Only Time’ is its form as a story told with words and music. Throughout the album there is a blend of vocals and music driving the story onwards. These variations add spice, drive and keep the journey intriguing but are never at the cost of the concept. The mixture of voices doesn’t dilute the concept or content of the album, rather enhances it. They all work together in harmony to share EMERLD’s love of music. When asked about the collaborative effort on the album, EMERLD had this to say:
‘Joining me on the journey is a plethora of collaborating artists. Family, friends and honestly strangers! Some of which I've known for many years and some I have stumbled across recently quite randomly, but that's the beauty of collaboration these days. The one thing connecting us all is a love for the music that we make. I think this is evident in this project. I've never had the honour of working with SO much talent on one project and I feel very privileged to have done so. My only hope is that my tracks and production have done them justice!’
‘It’s Only Time’ also features some of the cleanest production of 2019. This isn’t to say its devoid of the character or creativity though. Rather, EMERLD controls each variant with deftness. Never letting one element overpower another. The beats wouldn’t be the same without this balance. Production wise EMERLD described this project as ‘a tribute to jazz.’ Adding ‘The act of sampling is, for me, a creative way of merging two different styles of music into one, whilst paying respect at the same time. I like to think that the original artists would appreciate what has been done with their art.’
This is dedication to continuing the creative energy embodied by Jazz is no more evident than in ‘Kinda Blue’. The track is a tribute/reimagining of Miles Davies’, Blue in Green; but EMERLD adds his own indelible touch. Taking long phrases and intercutting short chops with a hard but full backline, EMERLD has managed to reframe this classic and give us his own interpretation. This balance of paying tribute and creating something new, is maintained through the whole project and makes the experience far richer.
‘It’s only time’ is an interesting and full album. The concept is solid and intriguing but malleable enough for the listener to draw their own experience from the project. The collaborations enrich the experience even further and it’s clear they came from a shared love of the music. The production is clear, strong and creative. EMERLD clearly has a great love and respect for all the genres he incorporates on this album. Here Jazz is reimagined through creativity and it’s beautiful. ‘It’s Only Time’ is a multi faceted wonder. It’s an easy, enjoyable project but with a gorgeous depth. Take some time out, fall into the music and let this project seep into you soul.
Listen to ‘It’s Only Time’ here:
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