Monday, 1 July 2013

Emika- DVA: album review

Dva is a beautiful thing from start to finish… the album mixes up techno, classical, trip hop, chillwave, dance, oh just about everything? In its entirety, it sounds contemporary and unique, leaving well behind any accusation of club retrospective while gathering up elements and dropping them *booooom* into a pit of post dubstep?

No, not really, what bullshit trying to define and box everything up, just listen to it and free yourself.  Ema Jolly aka Emika even covers Wicked Game *how dare she, I hear you cry* well, I love that too. So what if everyone covers it.

Starting with the orchestral Hush Interlude (feat Michaela Srumova) that jumps effortlessly to 'Young Minds', throws itself into glitchy 'She beats' and closes side A with 'Filters', it’s all so tech-pop perfect and sounds amazing on the double LP vinyl, every bit of Emika’s composing travels clearly and crisply.

Side B is my favourite so far, I actually put it on first by accident, then had to backtrack a bit to the Interlude, all part of the joy and effort of putting on a record of course, there’s sides and it’s a tactile, unrushed experience in music listening. Each and every track sends shivers up your spine. ‘After The Fall’ is so melancholically enchanting and deals with the darker sides of intimate relationships, a theme that weaved through Emika’s debut and continues to do so on this album, angst in its intensity and truly addictive listening.

'Sing To Me' asks you to do just that really (and was a great encore at her recent London gig) and then 'Dem Worlds' just takes you over a rainbow into a huge cinematic, *erm * big soundscape thing and glides effortlessly into 'Primary Colours', which as I listen to while writing, I just keep floating off so will no doubt have to re-write this…or perhaps I’ll throw caution to the wind and just leave it all dreamy to mirror the music. I just love electronic music when it starts sticking in orchestral stuff.

Side C starts with 'Sleep With My Enemies' which is just perfect and really stood out at the album promo at Birthdays a couple of weeks ago. I kind of wish I’d had a bit of time with the album before the gig but it’s great finally hearing and getting the reminder of a good night. On first hearing, this track resonated, the vocals, the layered instrumentation all melt together superbly and appropriately sinks into 'Wicked Game' and the shadowy sides of human love, lust, loss and jealousy. 'Fight For Your Love' puts you back into clubland after *predictably * losing yourself on a beach shot in black and white for the last track. I love the pop beat and her vocals in this one, it’s the lighter side Emika, versatile but still with some fight in her composure alongside a bit of dancefloor anthem.

Here she is doing 'Sleep With My Enemies' and chatting intermittently...this clip does capture her stage presence. It will feed your soul, your heart and make you feel pleasure, as she says and hopes it will herself.

Side D reverbs into 'Mouth to Mouth', and I try to avoid comparisons now, but there’s a touch of Crystal Castles in this one, a sort of come down, morning after the crazy night feel to it and as the album unfolds, you start to get the feel of a story being told, the mouth to mouth symbolising the recovery, jumping in and out of beats as if lying on a club floor battling a near death experience. And then 'Searching', a furious lament of green-eyed jealousy and stomach churning anger *bitch*. I thought this was put in for the live gig originally but obviously online versions have been softened as this track leaps with vengeful, desperate heartbreak and despair to quietly menacing fury.

'Centuries' is sublimely melodramatic and dark with an iciness that just touches base at this point in album, a detachment that’s cold and needed and vampire like in its feeding off the emotion of the previous tracks.  The operatic bit that’s in the video is missing sadly but forgivable with an album this insanely good. The album closes with 'Criminal Gift', quite a changer in a similar way to the outro of Emika's debut.

To sum up… GET THIS ALBUM.

Related Post:
Emika live at Birthdays

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