‘I Can Pay For It: A Collection of Songs for the Current Political & Socio-economic Crisis’ is the new EP from E-Mute. Having evolved over the years as a fluid collective of creative and experienced musicians, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter Theo Mak, who is the driving force behind E-Mute, enlisted the help of three of those musicians to bring life to his politically minded brand of alternative rock. A consummate musician, Theo has earned a Bachelor in Music Performance, with a focus on drums at Drumtech, and a Masters’ degree in Music Performance and Composition at Kingston University.
Mixed by engineer Andrea Adriano (Adele, Katy B), and mastered by Sigurdor Gudmundsson at Skonrokk Studios, ‘I Can Pay For It: A Collection of Songs for the Current Political & Socio-economic Crisis’ was fully recorded with live instruments. I’m an E-Mute neophyte, having just discovered their music within the past few days. Theo Mak and E-Mute are so intelligent, provocative, irreverent, inventive, audacious, cunning and brilliant; they have become one of my favorite ‘new’ artists. For a rabid music fan who owns and listens to an infinity of music, that is quite a feat. No one has made such a drastic climb on my faves list ever!
E-Mute defies category. They fit their lyrical and musical innovations within an up-to five-minute framework and create some of the finest music recorded today. Theo Mak stands out in my mind as being one of those musicians who deserves a musical sub-genre named after him. He seems to bring all his influences together into a sound that is unpredictable, cocky, witty, explicit and often downright ingenious all at the same time. He has changes in tempo, key, cadence and surprises at every turn in his music…sometimes all in the same song, as is the case with the track, “I Can Pay For It”. The songs come right out at you with that exciting intersection of, in the groove flamboyance at the funkier end of the alternative and progressive rock spectrum, and a sensation of creative free form improvisation. Yet there is a strong underlying sense of control and perfectionism which purveys the EP.
Theo Mak knows exactly what he wants and leads his expert band through some amazingly complex arrangements. I was going to start picking favorite cuts, but I don’t think I could, as every number here is a classic in my mind. From the blazing foot-stomping “Pink Elephant”, to the gritty, guitar-rocking muscle of “For Yourself” and the brooding piano-driven arrangement of “Miracle”, these songs contain everything about E-Mute: The cutting lyrics, the superb instrumental passages, the blistering jams and sounds, and the overall fantastic musicianship of the band.
‘I Can Pay For It: A Collection of Songs for the Current Political & Socio-economic Crisis’ is all over the map, but it never loses your attention or makes you scratch your head, as it leads you to the promised land of infinite musical possibility.