Holocene and Spend the Night present: ELKKA – 21+

Ages 21 and up
Thursday, August 01
Doors: 9pm
$20

Make me love you, make me love you, make me love you,” so begins “Make Me”, a delicious yet cavernous electronic dance track from London-based artist and producer Elkka; all heavy repetitive beats and glistening, syrupy vocal samples. Much of debut album Prism of Pleasure is like this: warmth and coldness rubbing against each other sonically, pulling the listener in unexpected directions. “I like to go through different genres and moods and surprise you,” says Elkka.

Written over the space of 18 months, Prism of Pleasure encapsulates Elkka’s essence as a bold, queer woman who pushes freedom and sensuality to the forefront of her work. It hasn’t always been like this: born and raised in South Wales, with next to no queer community in her immediate vicinity, Elkka had to piece together her identity slowly and curiously, gradually finding herself along the way. After coming out and moving to London in her 20s, the musician started DJing, writing and producing, which eventually led to her launching her own record label, femme culture, and running her own queer club nights off the back of that. “I think sometimes things unlock, and start to make sense and then you just follow it,” Elkka says now. “I started to go out more and become part of a community. I was more confident in myself, so I was more confident in writing and producing – it all came together at the same time.”

Written around the notion of queer intimacy, Prism of Pleasure is like a peep into a steam-filled room of wonders, via the female gaze (a concept beautifully represented in the pink-tinged album artwork, photographed by Elkka’s wife and longtime creative collaborator Alex Lambert). From the smooth, silken vocals of “Crushhh” to the slow-winding, breathy beats of “Your Skin” (“I’m breathing you in, I want to taste every inch of your skin”) and the steady, undulating synth patterns of “surrender2me”, Prism of Pleasure unfurls like a patchwork of sweat-slick nights, emotional connectedness and hidden pleasures. “It’s like a celebration of [how far] I’ve come,” explains Elkka. “I was never taught about queer pleasure. I was never taught how important that is – not just sexually but generally in life. So I wanted to explore all of that more deeply.”

Ultimately, Prism of Pleasure is the result of Elkka opening herself up in new ways, and being as authentic as possible. “I wanted a rawness to this album,” she says. “It’s something that can be felt, and that helps you connect with someone that’s listening to it, if you’re willing to expose a part of yourself. And again, this is all really transferable to relationships, and being with someone, all of that stuff. and that’s why these things overlap for me. I gave everything I could, and hopefully that translates.”

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