Saturday 18 July 2020



E.M.M.A has been an interesting producer for yes/no ever since 'Mindmaze'. This bouncy splice of beats and baroque was inspired by educational dungeon crawler/quiz 'em up Mindmaze, a side-game featured on the much-loved e-encyclopedia Encarta 95 (see here for reference.)

Moving on two and a half years since then, E.M.M.A has amassed full power into Indigo Dream, her first album since 2013's Blue Gardens (also marking a titular move on to the next major hue of the rainbow). And the first track to be taken from the forthcoming release — 'Into Indigo' — is a gleaming overture into E.M.M.A's multi-faceted electronic world.

Like 'Mindmaze', though fuller bodied and less midiwave in aesthetic, 'Into Indigo' speaks of a fantasy world, fugue-flavoured, interpolating notes. Feeling akin to microgenre dungeon synth — more to the point, without being beholden by that label — the track glimmers with soft synths tumbling in a mesh of arpeggio and flashing flourishes, each element kinetic, like everything's vibrating. It's the sort of highly credible induction into a different reality that hints of vaporwave influences, too.

The metallic fuzz of a picked bass propels the track forward, a battlement of thumping, treble-focused kicks and punchy snares, doused with splashy cymbals, builds itself up amidst the spectral synth. It's a combination that feels reminiscent of Jim Guthrie's soundtrack to 2011 videogame Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP: transportive, but rooted in real-world instrumentation.

Drama twists its way into the track, space and simplicity like gaps in towering clouds, trails through ancient woodland, mountain paths; the background noise of buffeting wind summoning resolve, grit. And after this sonic introduction, clambering the epic ridge that separates wherever you're listening to the album from the aural forms of the album itself, the world map of Indigo Dream stretches out ahead.

  • 🔔 Check out our Lazy Interview with E.M.M.A
  • 🔔 Indigo Dream by E.M.M.A is out 23rd July on London label Local Action. You can pre-order Indigo Dream via E.M.M.A's Bandcamp, available as a digital download and on cassette. A "deluxe edition" cassette bundle bags you a poster, eight-page photo inlay and a special E.M.M.A guitar plectrum.
  • 🔔 A whole hosts of artists have contributed to visual side to Indigo Dream, with exquisite portrait photography by Ivan Weiss, more photography (this time on a beach) by Sophie Davies, a prog-rock worthy typeface designed by Patrick Saville, and Morgan Hislop putting together the exclusive poster (see below).

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