This EP release from artist and songwriter Em3sh offers audiences a uniquely conceptual collection that bends and breaks just about any of the supposed rules regarding genre and style. This music follows its own guiding light – the ideas, the passion of the artist, the underlying story-line. Throughout this short collection Em3sh pours the details of the tale through with equal parts angst, uncertainty, and raw energy.
The project is multi-layered and complex and intense, but it’s structured in a way that lets all of that stand tall alongside of some much more delicate and reflective moments. Set in Stone is the perfect example of this. As the opening track it’s been produced with so many layers at hand, the energy rises immensely, but it also falls away in turn, and this creates a theatrical feeling of progression as the story unfolds. A flicker of guitar reminds you of the purity that all of this began with.
The underlying idea for this project is something that crops up intermittently within the dialogue. The artist defines the purpose as to explore the story of being trapped in an ongoing war with the demons in his grim and tormenting mental – Em3sh goes through the trials and tribulations to overcome and progress past his dark state. You get the darkness, the confusion, the mixed messages, all in great supply throughout.
Genre-wise this project brings together an unprecedented number of influences. Within the walls of a single track – Bliss and Poison, for example – things move from neo-classical to hip hop to hard-core heavy metal, whilst always darting back to those circus-like theatrics – the mad-man’s cage that is his own inescapable mind.
ReRoute is an unusual yet beautiful song in itself. The production sees things lean in an experimental direction, there’s delicacy and grit combined, the organic and the industrial join forces, and all the while there’s melody and rap walking hand-in-hand to lay out the thoughts and the issues of the moment.
As the track progresses, the experimentation evolves, the artist offers these questioning lyrics alongside of personal observations and considerations. The speed with which the vocals are presented makes it difficult to catch every line the first time around. There’s also something quite haunting about this spacious soundscape in contrast with the relentless energy of the vocals. The ambiance grows to be something like a circus soundtrack, the voices collaborate and collide in a heavy way, before fading back into delicate whispers to finish things up.
MAD MAN presents the implied sentiment of its title just right. The music is intense and dark and chaotic, the voices sound like unwanted souls surrounding you, filling your head with unwelcome thoughts and scenarios. This is perhaps the most interesting of the whole project, the theatrics return and the experience plays out like a climactic scene in some epic story. The circus-sounds return, the manic aura is overwhelming and unsettling – rightly so considering the topic and this point within the plot. You may occasionally wish those vocals were a little clearer to pick up on, but it wouldn’t necessarily fit the mood of the expression if things were so simple and steady.
The creativity is immense and the presentation of the concept comes through in far, far more than just the lyrics. With each new listen you’re likely to catch or stumble upon some line or moment that passed you by before – the profound effect of such a complex and dense bit of production work. Em3sh is creating something unfathomably unique right now. Well worth exploring for anyone who craves artistic expression and thoughtful experience crafting to the most unpredictable degree.