Atem. – ‘Grey’ EP
Vancouver, Canada is a grey place. For much of the year, large, ominous clouds fill the air of British Columbia and paint the sky in a dark grey hue. This weather seems to keep Vancouverites more honest. You’ve never been to an urban center with more friendly, genuine people than VanCity. It also helps the city’s musicians to make music that comes from the heart. Enter Vancouver-based producer Keith Stewart aka Atem., who is making some of the most honest bass music that the Great White North has to offer. His debut Grey EP for Blenheim and Celtic Recordings is 6-tracks of dark, swinging Burial-inspired riddims that are the perfect compliment to any rain heavy evening, especially while behind the wheel of your respective vehicle.
At the heart of this record are washed-out, soulful chords and delicate piano melodies, which can be heard on “Plaster”, “Nearly There”, and “Hanna.” (Atem. has been playing the keys since infancy). The melancholic piano reflects a period of imbalance and frustration experienced by the artist during the record’s construction. While composing the Grey EP, he moved away from his hometown, ran out of money, went through periods of withdrawal from creativity, and faced the disappointment of a consuming romance that ultimately never got off the ground.
In the German language, “atem” means “breath.” And so, we might interpret his moniker, “Atem.,” to signify the cessation of the breath. As the artist related to me, “the period signifies a stop; hence- stop breathing.”
Stream/download the EP in it’s entirety via the SoundCloud player below: