Emika follows up the acclaimed Melancholia Euphoria EP with another 12” of forward-thinking electro/techno magic.
Resplendent in its simplicity, Forever is the sound of Emika boiled down to her steely essence.Gated vocal snippets and haunting synth arpeggios give a nod to early-’90s proto-trance, the arps filtering in and out of focus in tense fashion before unfolding into a dreamy melodic progression. Swathes of scintillating pads heighten the atmosphere further, the synths swelling and quelling in unpredictable fashion to create a seriously dramatic ride. The pads take center stage in the outro with muted piano chords audible somewhere far in the distance–both providing a subtle allusion to her recent orchestral work on her ambitious symphony project.
Never treads similar ground but takes a more direct approach, the tension building consistently in layers as more arpeggiated synths gently modulate in hypnotic fashion. The shimmering, icy sounds create a haunting, slow-burning atmosphere before the rhythm switches up for the latter half of the track, layers of gated white noise further punctuating the groove. Emika deftly utilises each element for maximum effect, allowing each to breathe and shine by way of slick production and clever arrangement.
Out on Aug 5th via her own imprint, it’s set to be another highly sought-after release from this prolific artist, showing that she is as adept at extracting the maximum from a few choice parts as she is as composing for a 70-piece orchestra.
Following on from successfully funding her How To Make A Symphony Kickstarter project, Emika returns with a new four-track EP that sees her chart yet more new territory.
Lead track Flashbacks is a typically haunting affair whose deeply personal lyrics are a heartening example of how art can turn feelings of trauma into something beautiful. “It’s about the flashbacks I suffer with” she explains, “strong unique moments in time that refuse to release me. I am always being pulled back in time from my present awareness into a parallel world of trapped memories. It’s often terrifying and very disorientating. These experiences are a world of inspiration for my work.” Her velvety voice belies the deep subject matter while the sounds gracefully tread the line between the brooding and the ethereal, with pulsing, filtered synth delays, low register piano bass octaves and a stuttering slo-mo beat produced with The Exaltics, building an engrossing atmosphere.
Restless Wings goes into more experimental territory – both in terms of composition and concept. “It’s about creating a new personality which lives in the internet – something we all know. Only the online life wants to be free and grow, but it’s trapped inside the programmers’ code language with no real escape.” She creates this sense of tension through her own interpretation of the sound of wings in flight – something she has been attempting to create for many years, and has finally reached in stunning fashion by passing voltage and feedback through analog rhythm processors. Her many years of sound design experience and training are made clear for all to see on the track, the stuttering patter of the trapped wings punctuating synth sequences and slowly filtering strings.
Total features the silver-toned soprano star of How To Make A Symphony, Michaela Srumova, and tackles the complicated relationship between a mother and her daughter. “I feel I will only be able to fully understand my mother when I have my own children and then the ‘total’ cycle will be complete” says Emika of the subject matter, which she woozily addresses over stacks of bright, gently quavering synth chords before Srumova’s voice arrives to create a stark juxtaposition.
French musician Franck Vigroux provides a stark, shuddering remix of Flashbacks to complete the EP, driven by gnarled blasts of wildly distorted synths and bass grunts, rising to an intense, mesmeric crescendo.
A video for Flashbacks was shot in Iceland by Emika’s live show team, using nothing but two iPhone 6s to capture the footage. Her AV show visual artist Tving edited the video, creating a fittingly jarring monochrome experience that perfectly encapsulates the mood and intent of the track and its lyrics. Total, and Restless Wings also have music videos which abstract the song narratives and transport the audience into the deep worlds of music.
This EP brings together the classical and electronic extremes of the Emika sound, proving that her signature is like no other and continues to evolve. Flashbacks will be out digitally & physically on EMIKA Records on March the 4th. The vinyls sleeve artwork is handmade by Emika and has lyrics on which she hand wrote each one.
1. Flashbacks (radio edit)
2. Restless Wings
3. Total (ft. Michaela Srumova)
4. Flashbacks (Franck Vigroux)
5. Flashbacks (ft. Michaela Srumova) (bonus mix)
The multi-faceted nature of Emika’s creative desire combined with an inner compulsion for artistic freedom has made it necessary to move away from the inevitable constraints of the highly evolved yet still traditional record label structure.
With this initiative Emika will continue to grow, develop and experiment as a composer, producer, remixer, performer and DJ. Working from her Berlin base high-end home studio, Emika will focus on collaboration and non-restrictive creative freedom, working with artists and brands on a global scale across multi-disciplinary platforms and projects.
The initial release schedule includes Emika’s 3rd artist long player, an important, interesting, exciting and meaningful follow up to 2013’s DVA. A debut symphony written by Emika will follow in 2015, a bold expressive work to be presented by a 70 piece symphony orchestra. Throughout this Emika Records will release a series of 12” ‘Club Tracks’ inspired by this passionate female’s adventure across the dance floors of Berlin, Bristol and beyond.
“Beyond Underground, Beyond Commercial, Creative Business Activities,
Freedom to Grow, Artist Driven”
Emika has shared a video for her stunning cover of David Bowie’s Let’s Dance. Made by MKMK in Berlin.
As she said” “A new time-travel, gender twisting experiment in honor of one of my favorite artists David Bowie, part of this big year of anniversary celebrations worldwide.”
“Seduction” is a short film directed by Parker Ellerman for Marcel Dettmann‘s semi-ambient track of the same name, featuring Emika on vocals. The “Seduction” remix EP is out on Ostgut Ton on June 30th 2014, including remixes from Anthony Parasole, Ryan Elliott, and Deuce, the collaborative moniker of Dettmann and Shed.