What So Not – the stage name of enigmatic DJ and electronic producer Chris Emerson – confirms that his second studio album, ‘Anomaly’, is the evolution of everything he’s done since the release of his predecessor, his debut album “Not All The Beautiful Things” in 2018.’.
“There are bolder statements – no drips, so to speak, then straight into the instrumentals – rather than one big pop song,” Chris says.
“I’ve definitely spent the last three years exploring sounds again.”
The first demo stages of “Anomaly” took place in 2019, when Chris was traveling the world “for fun”, playing a few on-and-off shows. “I was playing at a camping festival,” Chris begins of the album’s origins.
“Instead of jumping in and out, I was actually hanging there all weekend, going and watching different acts on different stages.
“I suppose [I was getting] back to the basic level of what matters in dance culture and what it’s like to be there. I’m still struggling with being pushed in certain directions and trying to really feel what needs to happen.
“And then I realize, like, wow, I’ve lost what it’s about to some extent and being here in those moments, here on the floor in the audience, I understand it again. It was like reconnecting with the way I got here in the first place.”
Chris didn’t necessarily feel like he “lost” his sense of what dance music is and means, rather, he wasn’t as “sure” as he would have liked to be.
“But it’s okay, you know, I was exploring different spaces and energies. But the last album was very sad, I was in a sad place, and I was capturing that – this album is about living, being excited, confident.
“It’s a whole different ball game. For me, coming out for those experiences and being on the ground again, I felt that energy.”
Chris took a moment to think about what he said, really peeling off both his experiences and the music he’s about to release.
“Things change over time,” he says cautiously, “and if you keep doing the same things, you’re going to be left behind. It’s always important to reconnect and say to yourself, ‘What is this? what’s really going on here?”.
“Rather than getting lost in your 200 shows a year, running around the world and just seeing the wall of a hotel. Just being isolated from everything. I was very lucky to have this moment in 2019 to reconnect – then I had time to sit down and consider it all.”
From there, Chris spent seven months in a studio at night working until 3 a.m., an opportunity he had never had before in his career to sit in a well-made, well-made room. processed, for 12 hours a day for months to understand his sound. .
“I went back to school,” he says. “I was honing my craft from an angle that I hadn’t had the opportunity to because my career had exploded and sent me all over the place, I never had time to sit down as I was.”
This consideration will be evident on the album on tracks like “Halifax”, which is bound to be a fan favorite and stand out from the album. Enthusiastic about this particular track, Chris says, “It’s one that a few people around me are like, ‘Oh, I don’t know about that,’ and I’m like, ‘No. It’s now. ” “
Covered in What So Not trademark grooves and shimmer is another highlight of “Anomaly”, “Mercy (2022 Edit)” which bubbles with infectious melodies, euphoric instrumentation and increasingly stomping beats as it’s headed for a hot drop.
With plenty of exotic charm and scintillating production, “Mercy (2022 Edition)”‘s journey to find its way to “Anomaly” itself dates back to a chance trip to Central America, some experimentation, and a touch of sonic cross-pollination.
“‘Mercy’ is a song I composed with a group of friends during my very first trip to Nicaragua, where I bought my first house and where I have spent a lot of time for the past few years,” shares Chris.
“It was a song written with JRM and some other friends; JRM, of course, is also on ‘On Air’ with Louis The Child and Captain Cuts. And MØ heard the record in its original form and loved it so much that she wanted to be part of it, and wanted to release a version of it and work on it with us.
“And that version, of course, was on his album, that beautiful stripped down ballad with Two Feet as well. And I always had that super excited, sonically pushed and developed version in the style of What So Not in the bag. .
“I’m pretty ecstatic to have that on this album, and to have MØ on this album, and everyone else involved in this album. And to finally have this version that I can play in gigs that fits so well with my DJ sets.
“It’s a song where I really had time to step away from it, rethink it, strip it down…then go in and flex towards the end with all kinds of synthesizers, analog and hardware. And I think I really found such a beautiful hybrid of a pretty dense and complex call and response with so many sounds.”
‘Anomaly’ is now available.