There’s a reason we placed Emika‘s single from last January, Drop The Other, at number five in our Top 40 Tracks Of 2010 – it was an utterly outstanding debut, of the kind that shakes you to wake you. Unfortunately it proved to be only an early teaser by the British-born, Berlin resident, as the year passed with very little new activity out of the Emika camp, save for a few guest vocal spots and a handful of remixes.
Releasing through the Ninja Tune label and gearing up for the next singles and eventual debut album, we have started to notice the first few trickles of information from a fresh release campaign. Not that it was sent to us through the usual PR support, as we actually bumped into the new videos rather randomly.
We are often asked how we locate our music, and as much as a lot of it is emailed to us, or handed around in discussion with the online music community, we actually spend a lot of time searching it out for ourselves. It’s no good just filtering what comes your way, although we all know a music bloggers inbox could make a full time occupation in itself, but a lot of the best music bloggers have also honed the skill of discovery, knowing which channels to check in and which corners of the music community regularly prove most fruitful.
It was during one of these inquisitive hunts, that we thought we would check in with Emika and see what’s new. We’re glad we did, as we located two new songs that are equally as astonishing as Drop The Other. Count Backwards, which arrived this month, shows her introducing a little mystery as she begins counting the set of numbers, “6, 8, 9, 1, 1, 0, 0, 8, 0“, which we are yet to decipher, before her beautiful, haunting voice and the ticking beat force you under her metronomic hypnotism.
The next single, Double Edge. sees a return to the world of heavy basslines that work at scaring you as they shake through your chest, alongside her anti-genre narratives. Once again we get her direct lyrics, that seem to allow the listener into the darker, private edges of her mind, as she repeats “you cut me like a double edge sword, now I’m split in the middle, tell me which side do you pick?“.
It’s these kind of themes, often from an intense standpoint, as if there’s a scorned woman wreaking revenge, that is such an evocative, unfolding theme throughout her music. We won’t stop short of suggesting that Emika is currently our most intriguing artist, pushing boundaries, both musically, with stuttered breaks, beats that seem to loop backwards and vocals that are dramatically toyed with, as well as with her aesthetic, with it’s signature tension that feels altogether more contemporary than almost anyone else out there. Put simply, this is well-designed, dangerously infectious music that wouldn’t fit in the last decade. In an often relentless world, Emika appropriately feels like a dark, bleak future, and it’s artists such as this, who work on music’s edge, that ultimately push everything forwards. (MB)
EMIKA – DOUBLE EDGE
EMIKA – COUNT BACKWARDS