Emancipator shares lush new visuals for “Baralku”

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Lightning in a Bottle drops off diverse 2018 lineup

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Bradley, California’s uniquely immersive festival, Lightning in a Bottle, has revealed the first phase of its 2018 musical line-up, set to take place May 23–28.

In an increasingly monotonous festival market, LiB defines itself in defying the norm. The festival’s forward-thinking curation has presently landed a diverse array of acts from Anderson.Paak & The Free Nationals, to Zhu, GriZ, Fever Ray, The Glitch Mob, Sofi Tukker, TOKiMONSTA, Modeselektor (DJ Set), Emancipator, Nicole Moudaber, The Black Madonna, and more.

Lightning in a Bottle’s strive for diversity in its programming can be best summed in music director and co-founder Jesse Flemming’s words:

“We’re definitely not trying to play the same game we are seeing with all the massive festivals these days when we book our music programming. Forget the big names you can see at 10 other festivals this year. For us the goal is to craft a musical playlist that will perfectly guide people along the experience we’re trying to create. We book each stage to be its own separate journey on any given day and we try to diversify it as much as possible so when you’re wandering around during the weekend you can always find something just right for you. This has been our goal since day one and it continues to shape how we book today.”

More information and tickets to Lightning in a Bottle, which go on-sale January 18 at 10 am PST, are available here.

LIB 2018 Lineup - HiRes

Featured image by D Zetterstrom

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Emancipator taps into his scopious musical roots on the exemplary ‘Baralku’ [Album Review]

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Soon It Will Be Cold Enough… that Doug Appling will need to retreat indoors to adhere to a pattern that has long defined the perennial producer since he debuted his Emancipator moniker eleven years ago. This pattern of silent introspection is one that has, in turn, allotted an intimate offering of landscapist, waning, sonic multitudes.

Like a bear emerging from hibernation, Appling too awakens; batting his eyes, hungry, and ready to exude his reserved energy. For each time Emancipator resurfaces, he releases not just a full-length record — undoubtedly a gift — but a situated anomaly in electronic music. The very existence of a musical act like Appling is an oddity in itself, as he emits a transient hybrid of jazz, electronica, bossa nova, chillwave, and downtempo hip-hop.

Listeners are offered more than a simple glimpse into the psyche of Appling and his relationship to music, nature, creatures, and the seasons in his work; in fact, he gives them access to something far more profound.

Unlike his contemporaries who too attain ethereal elegance, Emancipator exudes tempos and fills rooms with a panache that has the veracity to bring his listeners to tears. He sheds a layer for his listeners, whether it be in the palpable nature of his music, or in his gorgeously employed violin. It’s likely he does so in hopes that his listeners will too.

Few artists manifest parallelable beauty or nail the longevity of a song like his work does. Undoubtedly, it would be difficult to observe or create in the spirit of the world as eloquently as Appling. His music serves as a reminder that there’s more to life than meets the eye, and that life’s grand mystique is all a part of the blissful process.

Each new Emancipator release serves as a communicable feast for listeners to join him in devouring, and after a long few winters of hibernation from the prodigious talent, a new release would be nearly impossible to resist indulging in. Luckily, he’s come forth with a new work, the full-length LP Baralku, which he will be touring extensively come early 2018.

emancipator

Baralku is distinct, and yet, it’s expectedly eloquent in thematic scope and the employment of Emancipator’s refined style. It’s also an aptly named work.

Named for an astral spirit island in the Milky Way where departed souls build fires to let their loved ones know they arrived safely in the afterlife, Appling exudes this blissful aura of beauty in the emotive embers left dwindling on the record.

“Music takes me to places, and each song is a spirit island on which its soul lives infinitely. To release a song is both a death and a birth at the same time.” 

He continued, “The sounds contained in each song have reached the end of their life process. The once shapeshifting collage of expression has been crystallized into a final form, no longer kinetic. Yet it exists in a state of permanent potential energy, waiting to be accessed in the form of music, just as the memory of a departed soul will always have the power to move us.”

Regardless of whether his music has directly hit on the concept by way of its names, its vehement quality has long emitted the sonic virtues of rebirth, renewal, and total desolation — all at once.

“First Snow,” a track on his debut album Soon It Will Be Cold Enough… is itself an encapsulation of this aforementioned multitude. Of course, it’s a celebration of the new season, of innocence, but like the album’s name, “First Snow” also emotively reminds us that with a first snow’s beauty also comes death — of vegetation, of the season, and of warmth. 

While his music is filled with stark multitudes like the above, it’s largely through enveloping sonic warmth that its impact strikes. Emancipator’s music drapes over his listeners, like a cozy blanket or a warm fire on a cold night.

On Baralku, he adheres to his archetypally poised encapsulation.

The album sets off on the impassioned epic “Baralku,” electronically-tinged in its commencement, the tune transforms into a speechless-rendering violin ballad. Appling sets the tone for the remaining thirteen tracks to follow with “Baralku,” an enormous feat he handled with precision. “Baralku” also hints that the culmination of tunes to follow will shine in their marvelously meticulous production. Additionally, he imbues a sense of sonic suspension, for in the track’s beginning, it would seem as if a violin would never be integrated, and yet, the instrument proceeds to serve as the track’s central force.

But such is the beauty of Emancipator’s work.

In the eleven years since the inception of his idiosyncratic amalgamation of styles, Appling’s generated steadily escalating buzz. On the strength of four previous albums — Soon It Will Be Cold Enough… (2006), Safe In The Steep Cliffs (2010), Dusk to Dawn (2013), and Seven Seas (2015) —plus several remixes and EPs, Appling has now achieved his most artistically integrated piece of work. Each work over the years has poured over his styles in a tastefully experimental fashion, but Baralku exudes a euphonious sap, oozing throughout the work in a multitude of facets.

Wherein the fusion of hip-hop is pronounced on the record  — in numbers like “Abracadabra” or “Udon” — the record also capitalizes on experimentality and nuanced flow.

“Baralku” even withstands impeccably effervescent transitions. From the aptly named situational awakening of “Bat Country,”  sonically reminiscent to waking in a field upon getting swarmed by bats, disoriented, and finally overjoyed in one’s own safety — to the open, waning quality of the jazz-tinged “Pancakes,” to the seemingly odd, but effortless marriage of the organ and banjo on “Rappahannock,” Emancipator elongates his established decorum.

Emancipator has situated Baralku as an unexpectedly autobiographical journey to the island of Baralku. Between his mastery of structure and improvisation, Appling reaches a multifarious destination  —  where the soul lives on in eternity, aware of life’s multitudes, embracing and reflecting on them wholeheartedly in the astral afterlife.

Baralku is available to purchase here.

 

 

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Emancipator shares title track off forthcoming record, announces supporting ensemble tour

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Emancipator enthralls many — time and time again — with his dulcetly-distinct tunes, as each outpouring explores a captivating niche of incomparable instrumental music.

Now, comes the third track off his forthcoming LP Baralku, out November 17, which also serves as the title track to his fifth full-length via his own label, Loci Records.

The classically trained artist’s forthcoming album is his first since 2015’s Seven Seas and hints at Appling’s most poignant release to date. “Baralku” follows singles “Goodness” and “Ghost Pong,” where each number perfectly encapsulates dimensions of the calming, texturized sound fans have come to know, love, and expect over the years.

Emancipator has also announced he will be heading out on the Baralku tour in early 2018 with his full live ensemble.

Emancipator

Tickets are available here

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Emancipator comes out of the woodwork on chilling new track ‘Ghost Pong,’ confirms new LP

 

 

Emancipator comes out of the woodwork on chilling new track ‘Ghost Pong,’ confirms new LP

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Portland-based producer Emancipator has, at last, emerged from his sonic seclusion. After sharing on Instagram earlier in June that his new album was done, fans have been patiently awaiting the day Doug Appling would unveil the new tunes.

Exploring the laid-back and sonically open side of electronic music that he became widely known for, Appling returns with a brand new track, “Ghost Pong.” Incorporating random field recordings, “Ghost Pong” is a chilling track that remains in the dark with its soulfully-executed quintessential violin integration.

While the details still remain unknown, Appling’s also confirmed his new LP — the first since 2015’s Seven Seas —will be out shortly.

“I’ve been inspired lately to return to making melodic instrumental Hip-Hop and this one has a chilling vibe to it which felt right,” Appling told Billboard in an emailed statement. “This specific song was born from a field recording when we had a ping pong table on tour with us.” Listen to “Ghost Pong” below.

H/T: Billboard

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