Personnel: Chris Lockington (guitar).
Audio Mixer: Ema Jolly.
Returning to vocal techno music after the all-instrumental, mostly piano album Klavírní, Drei is the third proper effort from electro artist Emika, and just like 2013's DVA, it seems like another refinement of her 2011 self-titled debut. Glassy melodies meet deep, dark, and almost dubstep-styled bass, while solitude and self-reflection drive the fragile lyrics. It's a simple formula, yet the results are diverse. "Without Expression" slinks across the room muttering "there's something wrong with me" and winds up utterly attractive and arguably sensual. On the other hand, the throbbing space song called "My Heart Bleeds Melody" could be lifted for any video game soundtrack that requires a little extra tension. "Battles" is a brittle opener and dramatic enough to draw fans of Florence + the Machine, while "What's the Cure" feels like Siouxsie & the Banshees on assorted cyber-drug downers and should hold appeal for anyone who has ever considered going out to the local club's "goth night." The meticulous and minimal productions make this a worthy after-club record for the Berlin and Detroit techno faithful as well, plus, anyone who misses the heyday of Portishead and trip-hop as a whole will find the temperament here perfect for chilling through any Blue Room flashbacks. Start here and work backwards as Emika's bewitching music continues to grow in strength. ~ David Jeffries