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“I make pop, but with a hard edge” Emika explains. “I try to stay on the fence, leaving room for the listener to create a sense of what it’s about. It’s all about tension for me.” Tension, indeed. Her music evokes comparison to the visionary likes of the XX, Fever Ray, The Knife, Burial and Circlesquare – artists that stand outside of genre, maintaining an uncanny timelessness of their own. As such, the words and sonics captured on her debut single Drop The Other prove both utterly catchy but experimental, erotic yet never overtly sexual, clearly confessional but shrouded in mystery. It’s a sound and vision that parallels Emika’s roundabout entrée into becoming a performing artist, a musical journey spiralling from suburban London and inner-city Bristol to cutting-edge Berlin.
Eerie, near-classical piano collides into glitched-out edits and skittering drum patterns, while speaker-shattering lows rub against Emika’s own hushed, cryptic vocals, the iconoclastic blend marking her an artist that makes a habit of defying expectation. Just when you think you know what you’re hearing, she flips the script: the cinematic sound architecture evokes the deepest techno, but the tempo moves too slow, the beats too jagged; the sub-bass, meanwhile, could shudder the most underground dubstep club, but it’s paired with haunting, syncopated vocal hooks that suggest Aaliyah’s work with Timbaland taken to its darkest extreme.
Released on London’s venerable Ninja Tune label ‘Drop the Other’ exhudes a slice of pop-infused dubstep as gorgeous as it is unconventional, featuring remixes from the fantastic Scuba (aka Paul Rose) and GeRM. Her second single, the deep and dark ‘Double Edge’ is released May 2010, featuring a remix from Bristol dubstep icon, Pinch. Emika is also working collaboratively with visual artist Mox, developing designs and video inspired by her music. In the space of just a few months Emika’s name has become more and more prominent, appearing in publications from FACT to Drowned In Sound to the Daily Mirror; all proving her to be a cutting edge female artist only set to get bigger…