Article | Onlythebeat

Concert Preview: Emancipator Ensemble on November 14th [Soundcloud Playlist]

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Erik Skoog

Doug Appling, known in the musical community as Emancipator, brings his soothing ethereal style to the Showbox Market, joined onstage by the Emancipator Ensemble. Vibes for the night will be set by Blockhead, and Manatee Commune. Tickets are available online or at the door for $25. My first exposure to Emancipator was pretty much by accident. I stumbled upon his set at Bumbershoot over Labor Day weekend in Seattle and was immediately smitten by his remix of MGMT's "Kids." It hadn't quite been released yet, so I had to feed my craving by listening to a terrible recording that was taken from Bisco back in July. I was pretty surprised to discover Emancipator has been producing music for nearly a decade, but it absolutely shows. In that time he has been relentlessly fine-tuning his sound that I've seen labeled as everything including triphop or downbeat or chillstep or instrumental hip hop and so on. Genre definition has never really been a talent of mine. But in the end, it really doesn't matter...the music that Doug Appling produces is gorgeous and underspoken. This is the kind of music you listen to when it's four am and you're not ready (or able) to go to sleep. This is the music you listen to as you walk to work in the dark on a January morning. This is music you listen to while wrapped in a blanket on a rainy Sunday afternoon. This is the kind of music that lingers with you long after the record stops playing and will haunt you in the best way possible. Fresh with stylish remixes and new music from his fourth full length album, Seven Seas, Doug brings the Emancipator Ensemble on tour to perform with live strings, drums, keys, and guitar to produce a complex and layered sound that you just can't get from electronics alone. If you need an example, here's that blurry, pixelated, vertically filmed recording that I fell in love with back in September. Trust me when I say to go this show. This playlist is really only meant to give you some highlights of Doug's discography, but you'd be missing out if you didn't dig a little bit deeper.