Blue Gardens


Welcome to the colorful sonic world of E.m.m.a 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 U.S. rap of Big Pun, Fabolous, and Jadakiss before having a "what the??!" epiphany with Skream's Midnight Request Line. 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. 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 encyclopedia 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 Adamski. He in turn introduced her to Rebel MC and legendary dub producer Adrian Sherwood. 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 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 (feat. 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.