Free Agents is a new feature series where we shine the spotlight on an up-and-coming act who’s yet to have a proper release – at least, not one that we’re aware of, and yes, we know that the phrase “proper release” is a bit of a cloudy one these days – but that we think is onto something special regardless. 

Artist: Patrick Emm
Origin: Boston
Style: Experimental

Boston, Massachusetts has long been a hotbed of experimental talent, and few artists have made such a splash recently as local cassette fetishist Patrick Emm. Emm has been responsible for a number of ultra limited tape releases over the last couple of years (the kind you might find in Brad Rose’s new FACT column), but it’s his live shows that have really endeared him to audiences, both solo and along with regular collaborators (and also attention-worthy ‘Free Agents’) Benjamin Nelson and Reuben Son. Using an array of semi-functioning effects boxes, hacked-to-bits cassette players, contact microphones and a guitar that looks like it might have seen better days, Emm makes a pleasing racket, flitting between the warming new age chime of ‘A Gentle Realm’ and the corroded, prepared guitar-laden grit of ‘Human Hand’ with ease.

This might not be music that’s likely to find itself gracing an Essential Mix any time soon, but we reckon Emm’s innovative blend of spacey 60s Radiophonic sounds and the hardcore punk-rooted corruption of Wolf Eyes et al makes his output well worthy of a closer look.



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