❉ Ange Chan previews the electronic music twosome’s second album, due September.
Back in 2017, I chatted to Ema Walter and Tony Blue aka EmT about their debut album Resolute, which was one of my favourite albums of the year. Since that time, it’s been on my playlist constantly, so it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to their next album, which is now finished and will be released to the cash-paying public on 17 September 2021.
Electrical Medicine is different in style to Resolute and is a pretty accurate indicator of where we all are in the world today. It tackles so-called ‘taboo’ subjects and gives us the benefit of their views wrapped up in a synth-bound melody. The vocals soften the blow, but they don’t dilute the message. Make no mistake; this is hard hitting stuff should you take the time to listen to the lyrics and what’s being said.
The production of the album was expertly executed by Republica’s Tim Dorney who has given the album an extremely polished edge, placing EMT into the premier league of synth mastery.
The opening track Robot’s Lament is a harmonious symphony of a synth call to arms, with electronic spoken word over a rich background which foretells of a futuristic state of being. It merges silk-like into a smooth melodic array of synths and sounds and provides the perfect opening into what is a beautifully crafted body of work.
Track 2 is DNA which was previously released as a single during the lockdown of 2020, is lyrically an introspection of how people with Autism/Aspergers/ADHD or basically anyone that’s a bit ‘different’ gets treated by society, in both a social and medical way. Listen to the words on this track… they’re thought provoking. The lyrics also lend themselves to the title of the album.
Feel Me is the third track which begins with a pulsating heavy synth beat, sliced right through the middle with Ema’s sweet voice and which is equally as beguiling as something released by Marsheaux or Ladytron. It has a funky middle eight section which will have you shaking your tush immediately with slowed down dub beat vibes punctuated by high frequency sounds.
Track 4 is Undecided and one of my favourite tracks on the album. Given a gentler background treatment, the synths meld beautifully with Ema’s vocals. By contract, Connect With Me opens with an upbeat 80s inspired soul funk vibe, and it’s the next single release from the album, release date pending.
Vulnerability is similar to Undecided in that it’s a gentler enigmatic delivery which focuses on Ema’s vocals which draw you into the track, before it bursts into a forceful chorus, then retreating once more into the verse akin to the gentle rolling waves which then gather momentum into a more stringent tide formation and return to subtle waves before they hit the shoreline. The whole track delivery also reminds me greatly of the mighty Mesh, which is no bad thing at all. The video is a graphic novel entitled “Twisted Dark” courtesy of Neil Gibson and illustrated by Marc Olivent.
The next track is Disciples which again was a single release and talks of vibes and tribes, fundamental beliefs and people’s blinded sheep-following mentality. The boingy synth sounds and shake your tush sensibility of the synthesizer accompaniment are the stuff of ear worms which will stay with you for days! A very catchy song and I love it!
The following track Diva was also a single release and is a ‘builder’ as the music gets more and more progressive. Lyrically its hilarious, parodying diva-like qualities displayed by individuals on social media “hey hey look at me, I’m an attention seeking nobody, a social media bore, I’m a hasn’t been. The number one fan of me me me”. A brilliantly witty track.
Peter Steer features on guitar in this track and said, “Tony asked if I could ‘bring some funk’ to the track, so I tried to channel Nile Rodgers! It’s a great track and was an absolute pleasure to be involved as was working with Tim Dorney, which is always fun.”
This Was Your Life has an early Human League sensibility; all of the tuneful synth mastery, female vocals and that certain quality that makes it into a perfectly formed synthpop song which you won’t forget in a hurry. Another favourite in a compilation of favourite songs!
Voices starts out with robotic voices and builds and builds in a continued early-Human League fashion. Just when you think the track is going to be an instrumental, Ema’s vocals kick in, in conspiratorial tones as if she knows something that you, the listener, doesn’t know. Yet, at least. It’s the band’s favourite track on the album and I can understand why. It really is quite epic at 8-minutes long and is the perfect penultimate track leading into the grand finale that is Disassociation Blues, which is the anti-track to the opener, presenting a more calming view of the world delivered in spoken word form, leaving the listener on a positive note, despite all the raw truths tackled in the album. The world really is a wonderful place if we step away from News and Social Media which only serves to remind us of the ills of this world, and not so much of the joy.
There are no planned live events for EMT this year but they will be supporting Sinestar in January 2022 at The Fleece in Bristol. The evening is a fundraiser to celebrate the memory of James Skuse who sadly lost his life in 2020. James was the guitarist with Sinestar, who were all devastated at his passing. He also left behind a wife and two lovely young sons. As a community, we were all greatly saddened by James’ loss but we look forward to celebrating all that James was on that night.
Be sure to keep your eyes on EMT’s Facebook page for more information, nearer the time of the album’s release on 17 September.
❉ Ange Chan is a Freelance Writer, having produced two novels and six volumes of poetry. A prominent contributor to Me and the Starman (now available by Cult Ink on Amazon) and lifelong lover of music, Ange is also We Are Cult’s Social Media Administrator.