Its been since 2014 that John Elliot and Drew Veres last released a record under the Outer Space name and its quite nice to have them back. The last year is proving to be a good one for the former members of Emeralds and perhaps in its own way the band is releasing a Voltron-like assemblege of works that form a vortex of calm, radiant vibes. Perhaps that’s too hopeful, but Gemini Suite is Elliot and Veres in top form, embracing more of the ambient waves of their output and letting the Kosmiche impulses temper a bit. It sits nicely alongside his former bandmates’ output, Steve Hauschildt’s synth tangle Strands and Mark McGuire’s Cool Cloudscapes of The Four Directions vol. I .
The record is one long piece, split onto two sides, building slow and steady as an Eno arc and just as languid. The suite embraces the nature sounds stock footage of the ’70s meditation boom and pins the lap of waves and chirp of birds to some choice synth tones that never jostle, jolt or jiggle the listener. The best ambient albums attempt to remove the listener from their own environment and build a new one. Gemini Suite builds a world and then soundtracks it with a bit of retro-futurist bubble, feeling like the sanitized but tranquil worlds built by Spike Jonze or Michel Gondry, calm and full of wonder. Its an album that soothes whatever pain, hurt or fear may be lurking, temporarily at least, but then again who couldn’t use a thirty minute vacation from the last year or so. It may not be close to a cure, but its a salve and that’s a place to start.