Published Aug 27, 2018Oxford, UK-based artist Emseatee (real name Leigh Redding) gained traction recently when material from his previous Nostos EPs was played by John Digweed on his Transitions radio show. Anyone with a taste for blissed-out, self-described "organic house" will find something to love about Emseatee, and his latest, 2018's 21-06-2014, is a great place to start.
The album's title is a vague conceptual reference to following the artist through a month in his life, but beyond a general vibe of nostalgic yearning throughout, it isn't exactly coherent, and it certainly isn't necessary to appreciate Redding's talents as a producer. Perhaps most distinctive are his use of ambient rhythmic touches (the reverb-drenched click-and-whirr of "Processing," for instance) and processed human voices — check out the cascading male vocal in "Next Steps." Organic touches like piano and guitar are tastefully placed throughout as well, with the unexpected flute sounds in "Masse" providing an especially pleasant surprise.
Overall it's an album of ethereal, well-constructed tracks full of contemplative and euphoric moments in the mode of Tycho, although with glitchier, more programmatic production — we're surfing on sine waves here, not real ones. As a result, things carry on more rigidly than the easy-rolling nature of Tycho's most representative work, but the two share the same penchant for gorgeous melodies and atmospherics. "Next Steps" is the best example of this, and probably the best thing on the album, its crystalline main melody chiming in from the heavens.
Frankly, a few more tracks of a similar calibre added to this relatively brief eight-track LP would have been welcome, but Redding shows real promise here, and we should look forward to whatever month in his life he chooses to document next. (Modularfield)