I'm Jenny--a God lover, Word seeker, truth speaker, grace needer, mess maker, wife and momma of 7. All around the  theater where the film was screening, you could hear the sniffles as the crowd was touched by this story of faith, a mother and her daughter.
Going from being on the verge of death to living a normal life after battling chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, a painful digestive disorder, Anna gives the credit to God. 12 year-old actress Kylie Rodgers put on an amazing performance as she played Anna in the movie. Five months ago, self proclaimed “sound designer employee,” Emika, released the LP, Klavirni, a collection of piano sonatinas that strayed from her electronic style. In March, Emika told FACT Magazine that DREI was written over the period of two weeks and “is ultimately about freedom.” Whether it’s “coping with freedom (or limitations)” or “the madness of being alone [with one’s] ambitions and insecurities,” DREI’s thematic inspirations bleed into the album’s dark, techno-based synth work. Regardless of labels, the album is not so much centered around Emika’s raw singing, but rather on the crafty vocal manipulation she employs to bolster an impressive asset. The album’s two flirtations with gothic R&B, “Without Expression” and “Serious Trouble,” make for the record’s best material. As Emika’s return to her signature moody tech-tronica, DREI showcases the young producer's keen ear for timbres and sound design.


Most tracks incorporate the somber nuances of Depeche Mode and Soft Cell, with lyrical contributions as macabre and dystopian as a lukewarm Marilyn Manson. Emika’s voice itself is a weak, underdeveloped instrument, as heard on the robotic opening track, “Battles.” The following track, “My Heart Bleeds Melody” proves a misnomer with Emika’s vocal edits compensating for any impressive melody. The meticulous production work in the track’s sampled recording of sliding glass, however, is just one example of Emika’s informed sense of spatial awareness in her productions. Complete with synthesized guitar riffs, backward vocals, and subtle harmonies, “Without Expression” recalls a Destiny's Child or Aaliyah jam remixed by a pensive Marilyn Manson. All of Emika’s knob-twisting and vocal tweaking, however, can’t disguise her shortcomings as an actual singer and lyricist. With her latest release from Emika Records, DREI, Emika returns to the experimental electronica that established her as the darling of her former label, Ninjatune. Even then, the self-professed sound-designer risks closing out the song with an impressive imitation of a goat bleating into a vocoder. The smoldering bass line of “Rache” and the brash synth stabs of “What’s The Cure” further hint at Emika’s prior experience as a hired sound designer for Native Instruments. Meanwhile, “Serious Trouble” mixes a head-bobbing rhythmic groove with Emika’s taste for sweeping synth leads and ominous pads.


The freedom that Emika strives to capture on DREI reflects the potentials of the studio as an instrument rather than any growth as a performer.
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The two tracks would make quite a marketable digital 45 off the album; deciding which of the two equally addictive tracks gets to be demoted as a B-side, however, would prove no easy task. As a product of the studio, DREI offers moments of studio wizardry and brief, yet appreciated, experiments with more mainstream genres. Nevertheless, DREI fails to deliver a record as cohesive and solid as the fluid artistry of its predecessor, Klavirni.



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