Primula: Root Layers

Catalogue: EM004
Label: Eastern Margins
Release Date: 
23 April 2021
Format: EP / Digital

Artwork Photography: Masaki Watanabe
Artwork Embroidery: Nicole Chui
Creative Direction: Anthony Ko

Adolescent electronics, nostalgia pulses. Root Layers sees Primula weave a kaleidoscopic thread between the purity of youth and the roots of reality.

Tokyo-based Primula inhabits the liminal space between ambient, grime and dubstep - soaking it all in psychedelic nostalgia. In Root Layers, he draws from a boyhood joy that threads a memory from lurid grime synths to video games soundtracks, UK bass music to panoramic ambient. Those distant influences serve as the collective consciousness for his collaborators on Root Layers, as MCs ONJUICY and Ill Japonia (Taigen Kawabe from Bo Ningen), and producer Prettybwoy all pull at the seams of this common reality alongside Primula.

Root Layers starts with 想像 - a dizzying daydream featuring ONJUICY, who spits a vision of ambition from behind the Lawson konbini checkout counter, laid on top of Primula’s eskibeat patchwork. A contemplative tone surfaces in translucent transformation, as ocean-blue pads serve as the bed for Ill Japonia’s singing of longing, languish and regrets. Cmuhn is a flashback episode: Namco Arcade Trance meets contemporary club. Jeopardy ends the EP with an affirmation of the project’s roots in Tokyo’s underground, as Primula lines-up alongside SVBKVLT and POLAAR artist Prettybwoy, as both producers bounce glitchy melancholia off the empty club walls.
Root Layers is Primula’s exploration of a collective memory, not only of his own lived influences, but of his collaborators too. Longtime friend Masaki Watanabe collaborated with London-based embroideress Nicole Chui to build the EP’s visual world, capturing Root Layers’ exuberance, all overseen by creative director Anthony Ko.