SweetNSour Magazine

Emma DJ

Revisiting Nostalgia: How the French Artist’s Latest “Post-Bloghouse” Album Embraces and Challenges the Past

Emma DJs music resists simple labels, weaving between sophisticated soundscapes and bold improvisation. His DJ sets blend intense club rhythms, playful pop nods, and soothing ambient sounds. His albums “godrime” and “g0drm2,” released in 2021 and 2023, showcase his experiments with post-cloud rap. These works feature vocals captured in spontaneous iPhone recordings, surrounded by a complex mix of rave synths and crisp percussion. Although his musical influences and styles vary wildly from one project to the next, a constant theme in Emma DJ’s work is this blend of raw, spontaneous energy with a polished, deliberate backdrop.

In his latest album “Lay2g,” released under the Swiss experimental label Danse Noire, Emma DJ pivots towards the dance floor, reimagining the energetic pulse of bloghouse. This genre has seen a resurgence, yet while many new artists embrace its nostalgic, carefree spirit, Emma DJ seems to tear it apart and rebuild it from scratch.

Describing his work as “post-bloghouse,” Emma DJ deconstructs and reassembles the genre’s elements, focusing on a more visceral emotional impact. “I Fuck With Lies” manipulates bloghouse’s rhythmic tightness but twists its vocals and synths into something more ominous, with drums that crackle and snap. Some tracks, like the energetic “RR.dnk,” feel like a celebration with their lively melodies and booming bass. Others, like “Kd9,” capture the drained feeling of a night gone too long, with its harsh synths and pounding beats mirroring the unease of lingering too late at the party.

“Lay2g” melds Emma DJ’s signature gritty abstraction with some of his most introspective and touching lyrics to date. The latter half of the album echoes the quiet aftermath of a party, painting a picture of a dance floor strewn with broken glass and remnants of revelry. Songs like “2 Used” and “Ilyak” reflect a mood of wistful sadness with their fuzzy synths. The track “Womb Core (Oxefdemi)” dives deeper, featuring an anonymous voice discussing themes of suicide and existential search, reflecting on the life of the late rapper XXXTENTACION.

The album’s mood shifts with “SkyCry™,” which, with its uplifting synths and fragmented vocals, reminds us of Skrillex’s work in 2013. Much like Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers,” “Lay2g” examines an era defined by wild indulgence. It celebrates the highs of euphoria while not shying away from the inevitable lows. In laying out its raw and unfiltered journey, the album finds a sort of hope amidst its chaotic narrative.