A complex collage of dance floor adjacent electronica that transports the listener to a realm between physical and virtual realities.
London-based multidisciplinary artist, composer and architect Emma-Kate Matthews releases the Far Flung EP on Algebra, on November 4th. The release is available digitally and as a series of limited edition transparent lathe cut 12” with artwork made by Emma-Kate, that includes a series of music videos featuring a digitally simulated cloth and its physical counterpart, in the form of a handmade textile artwork included with each record.
Resonating with our modern day occupation of a composite world between the virtual and physical realms, the Far Flung EP explores a series of conceptual and practical seams between the contrasting themes of synthesised versus acoustic instruments, abstract versus musical sound and digital versus analogue techniques for producing and manipulating sounds. Eerie drones are interwoven with complex upbeat rhythms, deep layered harmonies and erratic melodies to form an elastic sonic fabric which oscillates between moments of lightweight sonic ambiguity and highly-charged musical statements.
As a product of the Covid lockdown, Emma-Kate wrote and produced everything within the confines of her home studio in the Vauxhall area of South London. The growing desire to once again revisit far flung corners of the earth caused Emma-Kate to reexamine sounds that she has captured during previous trips, including recordings of a frenetic market in Sri Lanka, bats roosting on Greek Islands, traffic on the busy streets of Napoli and water lapping at the shores of Hong Kong island. The Far Flung EP also features drones produced by a series of bespoke tuning forks that Emma-Kate has designed and made with Laser sintered metals, providing a subtle tonal background for the sampled objects which periodically appear and disappear in the foreground.
Following her earlier sound-art releases the Far Flung EP is Emma-Kate’s most accessible release to date, drawing on her experience as a drummer and bassist to combine layers of familiar Latin and dance rhythms with more abstract percussive elements and found sound textures. Emma-Kate’s PhD research into reciprocities between architectural space and music is reflected in the EP through the use of spatial recording techniques, binaural panning and the simulation of reflected sound. This forms a virtual sense of depth which subtly expands, contracts and morphs around the listener, creating a spatial narrative from beginning to end.
Emma-Kate’s experimentation with the timbral qualities of acoustic instruments is influenced by the work of many contemporary classical composers such as George Ligeti, Henry Brant, Sofia Gubaidulina and Helmut Lachenmann. The Far Flung EP merges this aesthetic with synthesised sounds as influenced by artists such as Clark, Yasuaki Shumizu and Arca.
Emma-Kate’s artwork for the EP reflects the digital versus analog themes explored in the music, by juxtaposing a real and physically tangible cloth with images of a digitally simulated fabric. The video for Dreams Again merges footage of the digitally simulated cloth falling through space, with footage generated by artificial intelligence using a GAN (Generative Adversarial Network).
Emma-Kate Matthews last released on Algebra Records in 2018 with the experimental EP East Of The Active; a collaborative sound-art project with artist Rob Sheilds under the name DIAS. She is currently composing a spatially-aware orchestral piece for the London Symphony Orchestra as part of the Panufnik Project, which is due for performance in early 2022. Emma-Kate is presently completing her PhD in architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture where she is also currently a senior lecturer.