Educate Your Ears: Emma dj


Emma DJ remains enigmatic with his music, offering a cryptic allure that engages listeners. With the album “Lay2g” released on Danse Noire, the Paris-based, Finnish producer manoeuvres out of the somnolent trap sound of his previous endeavours on Lee Gamble’s UIQ label. This latest work propels Emma DJ’s oeuvre into a more ecstatic and chaotic sonic domain.

“Lay2g” revisits the late 2000s and early 2010s, a time when club culture collided with live performances, evoking an era teeming with warehouse bands, indie sleaze, dance punk, and industrial noise. It was a turn-of-the-millennium moment characterized by a post-9/11 nihilism so pervasive that even an electro-drone outfit named “Fuck Buttons” could grace an Olympic opening ceremony.

The tracks on “Lay2g” are direct and dance-floor-friendly, each piece jostling against the next with fervent energy. From the relentless industrial aggression of “I Fuck With Lies” to the heady gabber pulse of “Kd9,” the album reflects Emma’s early musical influences, spanning hype.fm charts and Dim Mak Records. There’s a nod to digital hardcore pioneers like Atari Teenage Riot and the hoover synths of The Bloody Beetroots. Tracks such as “RR.dnk” stand out with their crunchy, distorted subs supporting epic organ patches and complex rhythmic structures, while “bQosYe” features a lumbering bass line synchronized with fractured breakbeats and syncopated vocal fragments.

Emma DJ navigates contemporary reality’s hardships with humour and humility, a signature aspect of his work that’s evident in the wobbly subs of 2019’s “Support Your Local Enemies” and the casually titled 2023 release “g0drm2,” the follow-up to “Godrime.” “Lay2g” serves as a powerful, lightly sardonic marker in the trajectory of no wave and mutant disco. It heralds the reemergence of Paris’ deeply buried underground soundscape, offering a bold, uninhibited glimpse into its avant-garde future.

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Emma dj