Available now via STY TRU BTS!
Via Bandcamp – Issued on Kid Fonque’s STY TRU SOUNDS imprint, ‘Love Is Energy’ is the third studio album from South African multi-instrumentalist, emcee and beatmaker, EMAMKAY.
Raised and based between Soweto (Johannesburg) and Pretoria, EMAMKAY’s jazz-tinged lo-fi hip hop sound lays bare the artist’s influences, which range from J-Dilla, Flying Lotus and D’ Angelo, to Smokey Robinson and John Coltrane.
‘Love Is Energy’ sounds rather more ‘live’ than his previous work, so it’s no surprise that the spark for the LP began with the rediscovery of long-forgotten recordings by EMAMKAY’s band, the Sounds Like U Quintet.
The band is made up of five musicians from diverse musical backgrounds, namely Joel Eze on bass, Jeffery Mahachi on drums, Michael Nkuna on trumpet, Bokang Ramatlapeng on vocals, and EMAMKAY on piano and keyboards. “About 80% of the project is made up of our recorded rehearsals and demo songs that we thought would never see the light of day,” says EMAMKAY “until I spent my December (2022) holiday piecing these sounds together to craft an album like never before.”
Described by EMAMKAY as an “ode to love”, the project tells “a story about how this energy fuels us to go the extra mile. The great lengths we go
to because of love…”
The result is a truly arresting collection of ten tracks, in which collaborative, improvised moments blend seamlessly with more highly produced and structured sections, resulting in a unique fusion of languid jazz and subtle electronics. All the while, EMAMKAY’s conscious lyrics and mellow rap flow weave in and out, pulling all the loose ends together like a consummate cosmic compère.