Paul Chain - Emisphere [Minotauro Records - 2021]
Originally appearing in 1997 Emisphere found Paul Chain deepening and expanding the moodier and improv-based side of his sound. With the album all but stepping away from more rock focused sound he was originally known for a blend of church organ edged dark ambient, industrial beat-scapes, and darkly theatrical improv. Here on Minotauro Records is a well-deserved reissue of the album- it comes in the form of a deluxe double CD edition.
The two discs is presented in an eight-panel digipak- which comes in a clear slip. It’s a primally white coloured affair, with glossy purple texts, and black and white illustrations. There are also two inlays- a small notes/ artwork booklet, and a single piece of white paper with black texts on it. All in all a nice and classy bit of presentation from Minotauro Records- who really do go the extra mile on their Paul Chain/ related reissues.
The first CD opens up with the just over four minutes of “Open( Judgement Comes From The Past)”- here we find gloomily plodging church organ moving against risers of orchestrated synth scaping. As we move into the first disc we come to the just shy of six minutes worth of choppy industrial beats-meets- wired/ creepy organ/ keyboard sounds that is “Lack Of Balance”. There is the eighteen minutes and fifty seconds of the title track- which moves from blends of creepily sustained and densely church organ, onto organ jamming meets darkly wiring and woozy synth scaping. With the first disc been topped off with the doubleheader of The Cave Of Puppets Part I and II- each of these run about the seven-minute mark. The first part is a blend of angularly weaving 'n' waving synth tones and wind sounds/ subtle noise texturing, and the second is yet more similar weaving 'n' wonky synth key weaves covered by more drone-like bleakness.
Disc two starts out the epic twenty minutes of “Easter Day”- this moves from mixes of organ sustain and (I think) real string atmospherics, onto more wondering organ and synth orchestration. We have creepy mumble, at points disorientating female vocals and twittering industrial texturing/ synth scaping of the ten minutes “Litany”. There’s the fourteen and a half minutes of “Disease” which is one of the few occasion where more formal guitar appears- the tracks built around very loose and wondering doom chugs/ jam-outs and spacy guitar effects. With the album been topped off by the shy of four of “Closed( Destiny Has been fulfilled)” with its mixture of climbing organ tones and waving keyboard choirs.
If you are a fan of the more atmospheric/ moodily wondering side of Paul Chains output, then you’ll be needing to pick up for this classy reissue of Emisphere. I look forward to seeing what the labels got lined up next in their Paul Chain reissues.Roger Batty