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Boomkat Product Review:
The eagerly anticipated first album from Berlin-based, Bristol-hailing Emika, who's impressed over the past two years with singles and EPs that occupy the kohl-eyed space between electronic pop, dubstep, techno and minimal house, meaning she's equally at home with the Ostgut Ton crew (whose Funf comp she provided field recordings for) as with Ninja Tune, who are issuing this fine LP. There's a darkly sultry edge to all the tracks here, perfectly evocative of messed-up wee hours in some Kreuzberg basement, and the best tracks really ramp up and exploit that future-noir vibe. At times there are echoes of Emika's West Country forebears Portishead ('Professional Loving'), while 'Be My Guest' is a Subloaded/DMZ-friendly stepper with an injection of feminine pressure, and elsewhere the combo of heavy subs, spaced out snares and emotionally ambiguous vocals is pure Various Production. For all these reference points, Emika has cultivated her own sound here, and she keeps it tight throughout, refusing to deviate from the near-gothic moodiness but experimenting with rhythm and texture all the while. A bruising, seductive debut that pulls off a rare and remarkable trick: opening up dubstep to pop influence without pandering to the requirements of the mainstream.