Emeralds, Does It Look Like I’m Here? (Daphni Mixes)


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It’s been interesting to watch Dan Snaith’s relationship with electronic music evolve over the last dozen or so years. Many fans first heard the Canadian producer under his Manitoba guise, which found him delivering intense patchworks of charming samples fit into IDM-compatible structures, most fruitfully on the 2003 album Up In Flames. Some of his influences became more pronounced after becoming Caribou to settle a silly lawsuit, in particular the motorik beat of krautrock and instrumental hip-hop’s arrangements. While the former grew into an integral part of his full-band live performances, Snaith’s most commercially successful endeavors have found him marrying those streamlined grooves with club-ready 4/4 patterns as on 2010’s Swim album. While this crossover was derided by some dance music purists, Snaith has come a long way in winning them over with tracks released as Daphni. Explicitly aimed at filling up dance floors, these originals (including the nearly ubiquitous “Ye Ye”), remixes, and edits have earned him a whole new audience. For the second single on his Jiaolong imprint, Snaith deepens the bond between drone trio Emeralds and the dance music fans with two mixes of their “Does It Look Like I’m Here?”

Emeralds, “Does It Look Like I’m Here?” (Daphni Mix 1)

The blippy arpeggio that opened the original serves as the foundation for wilder extrapolations on the same theme in both cuts, furiously layering and substituting an array of timbres. On “Mix 1,” this intensity becomes urgency when the percussion finally arrives more than three minutes in, as if an avalanche of rainbow colored rubble was rapidly advancing. Swinging 909 hi-hats and crunchy claps give it serious club chops, turning that landslide into a rush of serotonin. “Mix 2″ is fiercer and less concerned with steady beats, as its snarling tones — zipped together by digital whooshes — swarm into different iterations of the leitmotif. But perhaps what’s most impressive about this 12” is how it finds Snaith in conversation with the history of modern electronic dance music. Heard in the context of the snaking arpeggios, the frantic, plucked leads of “Mix 1” invoke Manuel Göttsching’s seminal E2-E4, while “Mix 2” feels like a surly Carl Craig remix kicking in the womb, nearly ready to be unleashed. It seems this undaunted desire to fashion appealing and focused new works from a wealth of touchstones is exactly what help him garner a broad audience in the first place.

rubin  on April 29, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Dan Snaith is probably the most interesting producer operating in house and techno today. I actually prefer the dub of this release just for the sheer audacity of 8 minutes of symphonic synth workout, sub bass booms and strings that sound like they come from some fucked up sci fi future.

Everything he’s done as Daphni is classic. That Planet E release at the end of last year is pure fire.

Love it all.


Little White Earbuds April Charts 2012 | Little White Earbuds  on May 4, 2012 at 10:02 AM

[…] Emeralds, “Does It Look Like I’m Here?” (Daphni Mix 1) [Jiaolong] (buy) 07. Recloose, “Magic” [Rush Hour Recordings] (buy) 08. Moodymann, […]

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