Emancipator Ensemble Transcends Limitation At The PlayStation Theater
Doug Appling, aka Emancipator, is respected as one of the foremost creative and musically enlightened names in the realm of electronic music today. His ability to blend gorgeous samples and uplifting instrumentation has distinguished him as one of the most soulful artists in the scene. On Saturday, October 17th, Appling brought his entire Emancipator Ensemble to the newly dubbed PlayStation Theater. In celebration of their new album Seven Seas, Emancipator came to New York equipped with an arsenal of soul-livening tracks that set the newly renamed venue into a frenzy.
Few other artists can replicate the sincerity and mystical qualities which characterizes Emancipator’s bewildering discography. This newest release builds upon the haunting beauty which fans have come to expect, after the highly acclaimed Dusk To Dawn album. Seven Seas mingles star-studded collaborations with enigmatic ballads in a way that is both hypnotic and inspiring.
Seemingly influenced from musical textures that span across the globe, the Emancipator Ensemble is able to bestow a truly uncanny experience upon its audience. Accompanied by a violinist, drummer, bassist, and horn section, Appling brought to life a host of his most awe-inspiring tunes. New songs like “1993″ and “Vision Quest” displayed the Ensemble’s ability to hypnotize concert-goers with impeccable transitions that seemed to lock the audience into a trance.
The mesmerizing Madelyn Grant took the stage to supply the vocals for Emancipator’s huge new single “Seven Seas.” The entire concert hall was unable to look away from the stage as the bewitching songstress bellowed her heart out. As the show seemed to venture into its heaviest section, crowd favorites from Emancipator’s Dusk to Dawn LP began to take center stage.
The heartfelt violin featured in classics like “Valhalla” and “Outlaw” left the crowd in a slack-jawed wonder. As if speaking a secret language you’ve known from birth, Emancipator illuminated the PlayStation Theater with a breathtaking array of musical dexterity. Urging the crowd ever higher with the enrapturing horns of “The Way,” while contrasting that with the meditative bass of “Minor Cause,” Emancipator weaved a masterful performance. The mysterious depths featured in “Merlion” left the entire crowd trapped in a rhythmic cocoon, where time stood still and senses were heightened to near superhuman levels. Emancipator’s sonic style seems to beckon and unearth his audience’s deepest self.
Every note, every chord, every drum kick, seemed to ring true. Deciphering the story of our lives in a way that could only be described as sonic self exploration. An emotional avalanche fell upon me during the Ensemble’s glorious rendition of “Dusk To Dawn. “The track’s unmistakable angst brought about by soaring vocal samples and regal instrumentation.
The biggest songs of the night came down to the enormously heavy “The Key.” The song’s spellbinding percussion and intense finale brought the PlayStation Theater to an uproar. Without a doubt my favorite moment was the second “Elephant Survival” came wafting through the speakers. This track is certainly one of the tunes that have stuck with me throughout my exploration of electronic music and seeing it live always leaves me at a lost for words. Tears welling up in my eyes and arms outstretched, I was reminded exactly why this is the lifestyle we all chase and love.
Emancipator’s simple formula is what separates him from so many other artist. Sincere, visceral and authentic, these are the tenants that Doug Appling applies to his music and comes through un-apolgetically every time the Emancipator takes the stage. If you haven’t seen them yet there’s still time. Catch them on tour and do not miss this transformative band when they hit your city next.