E.M.M.A. 'Blue Gardens'
E.M.M.A. 'Blue Gardens'
Welcome to the colourful sonic world of E.m.m.a and and her debut album “Blue Gardens” for Keysound. To the outsider it’s perhaps not immediately apparent the connections between reference points such as, Coney Island and Rebel MC, or Encarta ‘96 and Delia Derbyshire but as you immerse yourself into E.m.m.a.’s vivid sound palette they begin to lead you down a winding path of fantastic vistas.
Her story begins several years back: around ’05 she was mostly absorbed in the US rap of Big Pun, Fabolous and Jadakiss before having a “what the…?!” epiphany with Skream’s “Midnight Request Line.” “I realised that there was something going on that I wanted to be a part of,” she says. But from fairly well trodden beginnings her story quickly diverts into unexpected realms.
She met Sully and began sending him the grime she’d been making, albeit with her own twist: “I thought if I made it funny and did more historical references to eras from the past, such as a Victorian highwayman rather than a south London rudeboy, people wouldn’t necessarily be able to criticise me because I was taking the piss.” While her interest in a quasi-humorous “Victorian grime” style would wane, a pattern of musical creativity driven by a vivid inspiration source was emerging.
“American Nostalgia, Point Break, American high schools, bubble gum, picture houses, Coney Island, Hollywood, proms, Long Island, picket fences, boardwalks, Baroque tonality, Wendy Carlos, Delia Derbyshire, Jeff Wayne, Westerns, sci fi, spaghetti western soundtracks, Encarta ’96: genuinely these are in my mind,” she explains. “I just think the idea of the monopoly the Encarta encyclopaedia had on knowledge is ridiculous in the context of the present day. I’m not ashamed to say it’s my muse.” A few key happenings helped E.m.m.a. on her journey.
Firstly by ’08 she became baffled by the lack of melody in bass music, though she connected strongly with a small cluster of purple synth experiments from Rustie, Starkey, Zomby and Joker. Secondly a guy called Adam heard her music at a party, and would then go on to encourage her production. His name was Adam Tinley, best known as Adamski. He in turn introduced her to Rebel MC and legendary dub producer Adrian Sherwood, who now all live on the south coast. E.m.m.a. went down to visit. Adamski’s impact would be to empower her to write in strange time signatures, such as 3/4 on “Dream Phone VIP”.
With Rebel MC she would collaborate with on “Jahovia.” E.m.m.a’s sound was beginning to emerge. A 12” of “Dream Phone,” a key contribution to Keysound’s flagship “This is how we Roll” compilation, a 7” of Jahovia ft Rebel MC replete with a dub mix co-written with Wil from LV, not to mention her DJ debut at Fabric leads us to her debut album “Blue Gardens” featuring an exquisite collaboration with Sully.
It positions her at the forefront of the emerging new wave of 130 bpm producers and yet also as a highly individualistic fresh new talent for 2013.
2. Dream Phone VIP
3. Cherry Flavour
7. Green Light
8. Shoot The Curl
9. Mood Ring
10. At Sea