OO Recordings returns with the second edition of Splits - a meeting spot between two creative minds. This time around, we’re representing the vibrant local scene of Helsinki.
Kicking things off on the A-side we have emkay. Also known as Gem-K or Maria Korkeila, emkay is taking the listener into the depths of house and electronica, both with a unique and cheeky touch. emkay’s minimalistic (but in no means minimal) approach to electronic music, combined with her playful lyrics creates a state of musical being that is hard to pin down into a singular genre. The key to emkay’s sound is the way it invites the body to interact with the sound, from subtle swing to full-on body-rocking.
B-side features Stuster's takes on contemporary electro and acid. It’s what music with a sophisticated bang should be all about during the 2020’s Stuster's cuts lace heavy kicks with digi-synths and acidic basslines, and manage to bring together something from the very early days of electro with something very current. Stuster’s sound in general combines the creative thinking of a mind from the digital age with an interest in sounds of the past, always with a relentless attitude to taking things forward - both in sound as in dancefloor response.
All tracks on the release are dancefloor friendly but for very different moments of the night. The tracks share a subconsciously communicated ethos, perfectly summarizing what the Splits release series is all about.
We have had the pleasure of interviewing Stuster and this has been the result.
Where are you and what have you been doing now?
Haha, it’s all day music everyday for me. Except for when I’m working. But even then I’m thinking about it. Can you tell us a little about your experience? Where are you from / how did you get into music? I was born in the Netherlands but have lived in Finland for a long time. My path in music started with the usual suspect - the guitar. As a kid I was into thrash and prog metal. Around six years ago I got into DJing, which I started with rap and hiphop. From there I got into trap and dubstep, and those got me hooked on producing with Ableton.
What are you listening to at the moment? Who are your current go-to artists for inspiration?
I’m really into metal right now. Currently it’s all about Andromida, Animals As Leaders and Decapitated. I’ve also got stuff from Manao, Viikatory, Isolated Material, and Spectral Frequency in the mix. So yeah, I’m listening to quite aggressive stuff atm.
How would you describe your tracks on the recent Splits 2 release on OO Recordings? I wanted to blend together three things; slow but raw sounds, a bunch of acid, and heavy hitting 808s. The idea was to kind of see what comes out from those simple ideas and explore them in a bit different way on each track.
What projects are you working on right now? Any new music in the pipeline? For my part Splits 2 was ready a while ago but like these release things tend to go, it took a while to get it out with everything in constant flux for the passed months. So I have a bit of a release spur at the moment. I recently contributed to Club Designs compilation, and I’m finishing up some more solo material. Me and Miro-Benji are also working on a bit more housey stuff. And there is also a solo-EP on the way on Planetaria!
Has your sound changed a lot in recent years? How would you describe your sound? I think my sound is in a way more aggressive - and getting more so. Maybe I’m influenced by my previously mentioned current listening habits, haha.
We all know that the digital revolution has affected sales, but has it affected creativity?
I think it has created so many new ways to be creative, and that goes beyond music. And obviously there’s a bunch of stuff that you can do with digital tools that are impossible or at least very difficult to do with analog gear. There are many great things about analog gear - from the limitations that can foster creativity to the sound in some cases - but I am a part of a fully digital generation and embrace it.
Can you tell us what your present and future projects are? Anything beyond your solo work as Stuster?
On top of the things mentioned before, I also have a project called Soft Assault Orchestra together with Miro-Benjamin Lindström aka Miro-Benji. That one is a bit more experimental and dips into a sort of hybrid of alternative/leftfield/EBM and rap. We keep making new material and usually accompany the self-released stuff with videos and stuff. So more weird shit coming out - either as Stuster, Soft Assault Orchestra or some other new stuff that springs to mind!
Splits 2: emkay & Stuster is out on OO Recordings on the 20th of May 2022. Available digitally, as a cassette and in all major streaming services. Pre-order here: https://oorecordings.bandcamp.com/album/splits-2-emkay-stuster