UMFANG on the Main Stage at Sustain-Release 09.16

 Bronx-born, Kansas-bred, Brooklyn-living Emma Olson (aka UMFANG) will be closing out the main stage this coming Saturday at Sustain-Release in Upstate New York. It’s the fourth edition of the festival, which takes place at Camp Kennybrook, and features a wide swathe of underground NYC and global artists. Techno is well represented at Sustain-Release this year and UMFANG -- co-founder of NYC collective DISCWOMAN -- is a worthy representative to top off a 12-plus hour main-stage marathon of the dreamy, the soft, and the hard, but above all, the electronic. UMFANG’s latest release, Symbolic Use of Light, debuted via Technicolour Recordings (a Ninja Tune imprint) in June of this year.

Symbolic Use of Light offers a conceptual balance of heavy and soft. Track titles like "Full 1," "Full 2," and "Weight" share space with "Sweep," and "Wingless Victory." The ideas cohere wonderfully within UMFANG's at times aggressive, at times tender sonic landscape. Nowhere is this more striking and thrilling than in the one-two punch transition of "Path" immediately followed by "Pop." By contrasting the lightness of the one with the power of the other -- like showing off two sides of the soul -- Olson gets at something undeniably human. -juan leon