- Umfang, real name Emma Olson, is a DJ, producer, Discwoman co-founder and serious lover of techno. "It's just my favorite thing ever," she's said simply in interviews, also using her many media opportunities to support female DJs who play hard. Olson's production work keeps her love for techno in focus. Though the New York-based artist doesn't make a straightforward version of the genre—maybe something closer to an echo of it—her music channels raw tension with distinctly loose and sparse productions. After her debut album for 1080p and a split experimental release on Phinery, Olson lands back on the former with the delightfully seedy Riffs.
Kick drums are not the record's leading feature. Sometimes they're completely absent (the cold, dripping "Entrada"), while other times they make an appearance only halfway through the track (the fluctuating "Spaces On Spaces"). This is impressive since, as a whole, Riffs feels relatively slamming. Olson builds a kind of subliminal energy with icy ambience, unusual synth patterns and clattering percussion up top. The title track (also drumless) is simple yet grand, with a gritty squelch and what sounds like an incoming helicopter. "Force" is more anxious, a skeletal arrangement of hats and sour riffs that make for a surprisingly stern rhythm. On "Ecstatic Layer," Olson goes the hardest, finally planting a straight kick at the center of one of her eerie, severe atmospheres. Stylistically, it maintains her abstract construction, but this one's a techno stomper nonetheless.
B1 Ecstatic Layer
B2 Spaces on Spaces