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The Emissary


LP version. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl. Includes CD. Limited to 500 copies. As one-third of the founding trio of revered Cologne imprint Magazine, Jens-Uwe Beyer has become a household name in open-minded electronic music, through releases such as the one-track-one-hour manifesto Red Book (MAGAZINE 008CD, 2012), several contributions to Kompakt's Pop Ambient compilation series, or inspired remixes for Barnt, Dream Weapons, and others. He's also the mastermind behind the ongoing Popnoname brand, and with all this in mind, one might not expect The Emissary to be a debut -- but it is, for it's the very first full-length offering under the artist's real name. To those who happen to know him personally, Jens-Uwe Beyer is pretty multi-faceted, so it doesn't come as a surprise that The Emissary is, too. And what a well-rounded album it turns out to be, delving deep into a highly personal and unique sound cosmos made almost entirely of atmospheric pulses and beautifully textured drones. Layers and layers of minute details float in a cloud of sound, surging and fading in the most organic manner, giving the listener the impression that this is a pop album hiding in plain sight. Well, it's called Pop Ambient for a reason. But the connection goes a little bit deeper than just some Gas-infused sample droning with a hint of rhythmic structure -- described as a "very intimate" album by its creator, this collage of personal sonic impressions doesn't just check the boxes of what normally could be labeled "pop ambient." It's a bit like a silent riot, calm on the outside, but seething on the inside, a run against the grain while embracing all the template has to offer. It's "more a question than an answer," says the producer, "and about the freedom to hear your own music in between the recorded sounds." His intention is to "open up spaces" -- highly idiosyncratic spaces, pathways into the metaphysical, with "every listener being his own emissary" on this uncharted territory.