Uno Prism, aka Emma Welsby, had until recently been a employed as a percussionist for hire, playing across Europe for brands and bands, utilising her classical training to demonstrate her skills for the likes of Harley Davidson.
Her first original music releases only hint at this side of her musical talents, with Into Place, her debut track, fitting into several different fields, from nu-jazz to down-tempo to the kind of electronic dance music with smarts, as exemplified by artists such as Nightmares on Wax, DJ Food and Cinematic Orchestra.
It’s music designed to create atmosphere, not to whistle along to (though you’re more than welcome to try); it pretty much insists the listener sits down to listen to, or at least feed from in some kind of subliminally spiritual way. Emma’s vocals, though extremely assured and appropriately wistful, feel almost unnecessary, or at least just adding to the existing layers and textures.
It perhaps says a lot that Emma’s usual go-to instrument is the vibraphone, not an especially “trendy” member of the orchestra but one which offers a very unique tone, sometimes almost imperceptible but able to transmit, as the name suggests, vibrations which an audience feels as much as hears. By using fundamental understandings of her instrument, as well as the years spent as part large orchestras, Uno Prism’s track has a majestic feel to it – there’s no sense that it’s following well-travelled tropes or simply aiming to please by going taking the easy options, it’s controlled electro-jazz feel is both unpredictable yet accomplished enough not to put off those who are new to the idea of combining different styles and techniques. A shame only one track is available to judge – well worth keeping an eye on.