The Red Alert
The Red Alert

Emperor X

Western Teleport


Record Review by Amber Henson


If you are thinking about moving to the city of Los Angeles, or if you’d just like to pretend you live in the city of Los Angeles, Emperor X is a man that can help you. I don’t think I’ve ever heard so many references to my own city. There’s a track called “Sig Alert” that is just a shout out to a great many LA roads (a sig alert, by the way, is what we call it when a lane on a freeway closes - something that happens a lot).  A map of the city dominates the album cover, just in case you need a visual reference.


The rest of the tracks jump between nicely melodic songs about technology full of sci-fi talk and slow synth-heavy songs eliciting melancholy sadness. Emperor X is a little bit Postal Service and even more Electric President, especially Chad Matheny’s voice, filtered somewhere along the way between his mouth and his listener’s ears.
Western Teleport is pretty well stripped down. The scrapings heard before and after the songs are endearing and lend a sense that you’re just hanging out with Matheny/Emperor X in his basement – or, maybe on the back of the 733, the bus that runs from Santa Monica to downtown. Perhaps that’s why Matheny’s not afraid to tackle the tough subjects – be they political or minutia.

Every album is, of course, trying to get a feeling across to the audience. But the interesting thing about Western Teleport is that it is able to create an environment where the listener isn’t quite sure where they are or how their doing – that is, the ineffable feeling of youth. The type of emotion Garden State aspired to. A little lost, a little over-educated, a little scared and a lot of inspiration. Listen to it and find yourself inspired.



Emperor X - "Erica Western Teleport"


More by this writer:

Priscilla Ahn - When You Grow Up

The Bell - Great Heat

Electric President - Sleep Well

"Weird Al" Yankovic - Live - July 9, 2011