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Duet Emmo
Or So It Seems
Catalogue Number
Release Date
January 1, 1983

An essential set of monochrome synth-psalms from 3 of electronic music's pioneers. For a record that largely consists of harsh drones, linear relentless beats and ghostly electronic soundscapes, Duet Emmo’s sole 1983 release Or So It Seems possesses an inspired playful nature. A collaboration between Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis of legendary UK post-punk outfit Wire and The Normal / Mute founder Daniel Miller, even their name is a cheeky bit of wordplay. An anagram of Dome (the moniker of Gilbert and Lewis’ proto-industrial project) and Mute, it also works as an apt descriptor of their music.

Equal parts primitive noise and awkward machine funk, Duet Emmo virtually splits the difference between Dome and Miller’s The Normal project, making for an uncanny sampler of the Mute sound at the time. While some songs like the haunting title track hue closer to synthpop of the era with a minimalist bent, most of Or So It Seems is far more experimental. The LP’s nearly seventeen minute centrepiece ‘Long Sledge’ squeezes shocking tension out of little more than some distant percussion and audio relics of a subway train lurching through a post-apocalyptic metropolis.

Speaking to us directly from 1983, Duet Emmo exists in the past but still feels like the future, or so it seems, at least.

Duet Emmo


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