SOLD OUT at U Street Music Hall
By Brady Cooling.
Emancipator is easily one of the most creative (and one of my favorite) musicians in the world. In the realm of electronic music he and his Emancipator Ensemble “Live in Athens 2015,” live band, have brought legendary shows and recordings all across the globe. Doug Appling’s start into this genre of music came from his early training as a classical violinist and his eventual recordings in college for “Soon It Will Be Cold Enough.” Emancipator’s ability to merge classical music with the expanding and eclectic new world of electronic music makes for one of the most unique sounds in music; world cultures, hip hop, rock, and so many different blends. His roots in such a natural and beautiful place in Portland, OR. allow for even further creative expansion and exploring the natural and urban world together. Doug has been able to push the boundaries of electronic music through his label Loci Records which he created in 2012 to show his music to the world from his own creative process. His newest release, “Maps and Father King EP” was released on November 2nd featuring remixes of two of his earliest songs “Maps” and “Father King” with four different producers putting their take on each one with his original as well. When the Loci Records showcase tour was announced for select dates and cities across the country for late 2016 and early 2017, I was as enthused as could be to hear other artists on his label!
Emancipator will be performing a sold out show at U Street Music Hall this Saturday with several special guests.
Loci translates to the plural form of locus, or focal point; adds to a collection of points that each artist brings to music and the label from a different perspective, according to Loci’s website. This new intimate tour features Doug and Ilya of Emancipator, Tor, Edamame, and Lapa in a full show. It is a different approach than Emancipator has been used to with the Ensemble and larger shows across the planet, but it will be a fresh take on his music and it will allow artists that are fairly unknown to shine as well. U Street Music Hall is a perfect place for this tour to stop in Washington D.C., as it has been the home to many great electronic and hip-hop shows since its opening in 2012.
Starting off the showcase is Tor who hails from a small Canadian mountain town on the west coast. In his music you can feel the organic environment through his tones and textures layered into one another. He has even produced music for Sufjan Stevens for his hip-hop mashup entitled “Illionize” which has been very successful and has gotten his name into the production and musical fields alike. Tor’s dream album came with 2012’s “Drum Therapy” which was a 10-year project in the making; one of Loci’s first releases. To go with Tor’s style and usage of the natural world and different genres he did everything from sampling Italian movies, southern gospel hymns, exotic eastern music, Celtic and Turkish folk music, and much more. To build on each sound and sample he even played all of the non-sampled elements on the record to further curate his creative touch and vision with it. Since then, he has shared the stage with Emancipator, Random Rab, Bluetech and numerous others.
Edamame, not to be mistaken with the delicious Asian bean, is a 27-year-old producer from the electronic heavy city of Chicago named Ed Harris. His musical journey is inspired by the outdoors and different cultures across the globe; even going as far as including sonic textures from planetary exploration. Edamame’s ambient sound has grown from his love of hip-hop, electronica, and world music to a sound that resonates with each artist on Loci’s roster. Shockingly, his background in music began strangely when he played the trombone at a young age and then he became a naturally touring death metal vocalist before discovering this new world of music. Since 2012, he has been touring on Loci’s label and traveling across the U.S. and globe with much praise from hardcore fans and radio stations. Either way, we are glad he traded in his trombone and death metal singing for this new project!
Lapa is better known as the other half of Doug’s Emancipator project, named Ilya Goldberg. He, like Doug Appling, is a classically trained violinist from Russia who has spent time in his life playing for American and Russian orchestras and has called the U.S. home since 2000 after studying at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He now lives in the musical city of Portland, OR. His virtuosity in stringed instruments has helped him develop a greater range in musicianship as well as creating his own electronic sound with his new project, Lapa, as well as continuing with Emancipator to adapt any genre or sound and master it successfully. His performance career with classical musicians has allowed him to create musical textures, beats, sounds, harmonies and overall compositions that are second to none at connecting the natural and music worlds together simultaneously. Ilya has added Random Rab, Lynx, Devochka and the Human Experience to his long list of collaborators and will continue to push what can be accomplished in electronic music for years to come!
Emancipator’s Loci Records showcase is a show I have been anticipating since it was announced a few months ago. It follows his vision and own creative elements by including artists he feels expand the genre of electronic music with numerous genres combined with the natural and industrial world to create something of magic. Music tells stories and takes listeners and viewers on a journey through senses, feelings, and places; each artists handpicked for this tour and record reaches those exact goals with tremendous success, and I cannot wait to see and hear them in the future. With over 16 releases since its founding in 2012, everyone should keep an eye out for Loci as it continues to progress electronic music by showing creative artists for years to come!