Emissive's Malleable Beats Make 'Wave Science' Sound Equally Good in the Club or at Home
Published Jun 02, 2021Emissive (a.k.a. Evan Vincent) has been steadily climbing the rungs of Toronto's dance scene for a number of years, to the point where he's now an integral part of it. His sets are an eclectic journey, full of varying styles, twists and oddball tracks that might struggle to land in anyone else's hands, but he glues it all together seamlessly. This is why you can toss him in almost anywhere: when a legendary house producer like Levon Vincent comes to town, Emissive can support him, and when an atypical, impossible-to-classify act like Actress swings by, Emissive is perfectly matched to open for him, too. That kind of range is rare, but he's got it, and isn't afraid to use it.
Some might recognize Emissive from his other project, Active Surplus, which is a collaboration with Ian Syrett. Together, they've seen some love from Vancouver label Pacific Rhythm, which released their self-titled EP in 2020; Active Surplus were also a highlight of the label's recent compilation Rhythms of the Pacific Volume 4.
Now, for a solo venture, Emissive has returned to Pacific Rhythm, and, wouldn't you know it, this EP is absolute fun-on-the-bun too. He certainly has a knack for making incredibly colourful music without ever tumbling into the realm of sickly sweet. "Star Mappers," for instance, opens with some beautiful shuffling synths that then get flanked by sounds that wouldn't sound out of place in Sonic the Hedgehog and a bassline that's reminiscent of the Tuss. That sounds ridiculous on paper, but damn if it doesn't come together magically. Then the pulsing ambient haze of "Sidewalk Jam" immediately draws you in before that funky bass takes you on a tour of the unique planetarium that Emissive has built for himself.
It's not an entirely floaty record either. "Simple Harmonic Motion" offers a more standard four-to-floor rhythm, but it's by no means dark techno or anything. Emissive always seems ready to slip in some warm keys just when you need them.
Of the EP, Vincent has said that he wanted it to be "less thinking, more feeling" — but "less thinking, more beaming" or "less thinking, more dreaming" would work just as well. You could easily play any of these in the club, but then again, you could play them in the shower too; they're that malleable. (Pacific Rhythm)