Two contrasting artists and one quality EP; STEMS is the collaborative product of Manchester based artists CurrentMoodGirl and Yelena Lashimba.
Rhythm Lab Records ask the question of - what would happen when you connect two artists that have never met before to work together remotely? They put CurrentMoodGirl and Yelena Lashimba to the test.
The aptly named STEMS is the premier in a series of releases collectively titled “Sonic Synthesis”. A whole project dedicated to making artists step out of their creative comfort zones and embrace that of another artist. Both artists make their own track before swapping their stems and allowing the songs to take an entirely new shape.
CurrentMoodGirl hits us with her industrial pop gut punch track ‘Step in the Dark’. Centred around the fear of the unknown and having to trust your own decisions, but being brave enough to do so despite the doubt, doses of strength and tenderness leak through the track in the form of her smooth, velvety vocals.
Speaking out on her vulnerability to reveal the many sides to herself as an artist, CurrentMoodGirl says “…sexuality isn’t only about sex. That’s how I feel with me and how I’m really sexual. And it’s been a huge problem because men can really not take you seriously when you’re like that - but I feel like it’s a really natural aura for me to be like that, I can’t help it.”
CurrentMoodGirl adds her second piece to the EP with her rework of Yelena Lashimba’s original track ‘Toxic’. Effortlessly stamping her industrial flare onto the track as if it was hers to begin with, making it reminiscent of the likes of Let’s Eat Grandma and Björk. The stems of CurrentMoodGirl and Yelena Lashimba meeting make for an eerie and haunting yet exciting and unpredictable ride.
On the flip side to CurrentMoodGirl, Yelena Lashimba graces us with her haunting yet catchy RnB track ’Toxic’. Yelena says “I feel like when I was in the womb, I was infused with percussive, sambaristic elements” which originates from her father and his role in the Afro-soul band “Inner Sense” - and this undoubtedly shows through the Afro-soul production Yelena crafted for her original track.
‘Toxic’ takes us down the path of Yelena regaining her confidence and navigating her way through a toxic relationship. She says “...When you take charge of your own body, your mind, your sexuality, it’s not just a projection of what somebody else thinks it should be.”
Yelena Lashimba takes CurrentMoodGirl’s ‘Step in the Dark’ and turns it into a sensual RnB track, throwing in her percussive elements that she was blessed with. The song takes on a new body with a saxophone being drizzled on top, giving it a whole new vibe and a whole new life.
Offering her piece on this intriguing project, Hannah O’Gorman, Label Manager of Rhythm Lab Records, says “by swapping their stems, CurrentMoodGirl and Yelena Lashimba have identified and amplified really interesting ideas in each other’s tracks. We’re so excited about the incredible music they’ve made and the way they’ve taken on the “Sonic Synthesis” concept.”