Brooklyn producer and DJ Emma Olson has assembled her first full-length LP, Symbolic Use of Light. Released via Ninja Tune sister label Technicolour, the record is a series of meditative, loop-driven tracks that reflect cathartic release in the subtlety of their churning progressions.
Avoiding high-art aims, Olson records her music in live takes, revealing calculated improvisation as the distinguishing trait of her production style. Packaged with minimal to no post-production editing, the analog excursions into rhythm play like a live performance by Olson, and often took as long to record as they did to compose. Equipped with a couple of Boss DR 202s, an x0xb0x and Korg Volca FM synth for the occasional alien noises, the producer borrows as much from heavy techno as she does from ambient, instinctually making each track evolve rather than working in line with audience expectations.
Though techno is subtly evoked by the compositional framework of Symbolic Use of Light, Olson’s meditative variations on rhythm create an impactful minimalism that defies categorization. Progressing across a grid, Olson’s explorative approach to loop-based production of music reveals an intuitive and refreshing approach to deriving emotive depth from a machine.