In this day and age, having to use real patience is something of a rarity. On the Internet, where everything is a click or download away, we seldom find ourselves pacing the living room floor in anticipation for too long before the interwebs inevitably deliver relief. In cases like Kanye West, Frank Ocean, and Flume’s solo work however, their respective – and often overlapping – communities have had to endure harsh, Siberian winter levels of anticipation for any glimmer of a detail regarding their upcoming albums. When put to the test like this, the true fans are often the only ones to survive.
In the dance music realm, the equivalent group is an obvious one: What So Not. Ever since Emoh and Flume’s announcement back in February that they would no longer be continuing as a group and that Emoh would be taking over the WSN project indefinitely, their massive fanbase has been clamoring for their final collaborative EP. Completed in 2014 and played out in pieces to crowds all over the world for at least the last 10 months, the name Gemini has been floating around the EDM airspace in a vague haze for what seems like an eternity. Now, it has finally been uploaded in its entirety to the What So Not Soundcloud page.
The 5-track EP consists mostly of collaborations with vocalists and producers from all over the circuit, barring one solo original. George Maple, a consistent partner to both Emoh and Flume, joins vocalists Tunji Ige, Dawn Golden, and KLP in addition to an absolutely incredible production credit by none other than Dillon Francis. Several of the tracks were also mastered by a longtime friend of WSN, Naderi, who has been quietly putting out his own brand of epic Australian-influenced wallopers for the last year. Together, the group expertly innovates on the classic What So Not sound that brought us to their side years ago while simultaneously preserving its core feeling, humor and effect.
The first track, “Gemini Intro,” reveals the underlying chord structure for the following title track, while Tunji Ige orates a short couple of stanzas in a similar style to several tracks on Flume’s Deluxe edition of his first album.
“Gemini,” despite being released more than eight months ago, remains one of the best and most soulful tracks on the entire EP. Featuring ethereal and slurred whispers from George Maple and rippling, off-key drones, the track is able to create an atmosphere unlike any other in the list.
“Arrows” with Dillon Francis, featuring vocals from Dawn Golden, was my own most anticipated song coming into release. Having heard it play out at several live shows over the last year, from Dillon, Emoh and even Flume at EDC, I knew that this would be one of the most defining festival trap tracks in the market as soon as it was unveiled. Thankfully, I now have it rested cozily in my iTunes, to be used as a personal secret weapon if anyone dares to hand over the aux cord. With unbelievably deep sub bass and a melody worthy of any set’s most powerful point, I doubt this track will lose its fire any time soon.
One of the most interesting and nostalgic tracks on Gemini is “Death Drive” featuring KLP. Out of all the songs here, this one reminds me the most of the original What So Not sound I fell in love with. With a very small emphasis on percussion and a higher focus on the strange, evolving melodic structure within the track, the sound design of “Death Drive” feels like it belongs back in the days of WSN’s “Believer” and “Warrior” remixes over three years ago. After several listens through Gemini, this groovy original has quickly become one of my favorites.
Finally, “Oddity” holds up the rear of the EP. Originally debuted on Triple J back in June, the track is one that many What So Not listeners already have subconsciously engrained in their minds. For those new to the song, however, it likely comes as a more emotional and anthemic close to the EP at large. Utilizing melancholy vocal howls and visceral samples in between the rhythm, “Oddity” feels more like a work of passion than any other song on Gemini.
In honor of their incredible release, we’ve reposted Flume’s parting words from back in February below. Here’s to What So Not, past and future! From us here at Your EDM, we congratulate both Emoh and Flume on what they were able to create with this project, and excitedly look forward to their independent work in the coming years.
I’m writing today with news regarding What So Not. For those that didn’t know, what so not has always been a collaborative project that I’ve doing with my friend Chris, aka Emoh Instead. Over the last while, Emoh and I have been moving in different directions creatively, we haven’t made any music together in quite a while. Our final joint project is a soon-to-be-released EP that we completed last year. That will be the last what so not project I’ll be creatively involved with.
Emoh’s been the sole touring member of What So Not for over a year now and hats off to him, he’s done an amazing job playing to crowds around the world and here at home. I know he’ll continue to slay it, as far as the live shows go nothing has changed, go see him play.
I want to thank Emoh for the time, effort and friendship that he always put into What So Not. While I will no longer be creatively involved I wish him the best of luck moving forward as he takes the reigns and steers the project into the future.
I also want to thank you, the fans, for making all of this What So Not stuff possible in the first place. We started this project from my bedroom studio at my parents house, to see it grow like this has been an amazing experience. I’m always so humbled by the support you’ve shown us, for all my musical projects. While there are a lot of great memories with WSN, i feel its time for me to let this go.
– Harley x