EMA - The Future's Void
With a whirl of electronic noise, reverberating bass line, and repeating refrain (“Open the satellites”) you’re straight into the thrilling second album from Erika M. Anderson. Better known as EMA, Anderson’s full label debut in 2011, Past Life Martyred Saints, was a lo-fi experience, accomplished but somehow rather restrained. In hindsight, it only partially hinted at the increased intensity that is the follow-up, The Future’s Void.
Using her experiences with the trolls that came out from under their rocks after that debut, Anderson takes aim at the technological vagaries of modern life and on how lives today are open to invasions by anyone and everyone; "the digital commodification", ubiquitous self-recording included ("Makin' a living off of takin' selfies / Is that the way that you want it to be?").
If you’re not too intimidated by the opening blast there’s tons of atmosphere to lose yourself in. From the the slow grungy rock of ‘So Blonde’ (which leaves a shadow of The Breeders), through the weirdly dreamy ‘3Jane’ (“But disassociation / I guess is just a modern disease.”), the angry guitars and singing on ‘Cthulu’, the glass smashing beat of the William Gibson novel based ‘Neuromancer’ - it’s a schizophrenic album, never settling on a sound or theme for long.
The Future’s Void is not a passive experience. In delivery or consumption, you’ll participate or switch off. It’s difficult at times, the distorted screaming vocals of ‘Smolder’ create quite the menacing atmosphere, but whether you buy into her dystopia or not, this is music of the utmost quality delivered with a singular passion and vision.