George Clinton once sang “free your mind and your ass will follow.” This sentiment permeates through the music of Emancipator — it’s not just dance music, it’s smart music you can dance to. More than shoving decibels down your ear canals, Emancipator utilizes a sophisticated sonic subterfuge as a method for production. “Electronic music is a happy medium (for me) because it allows me to exercise both the creative musical side and the more math, detail-oriented side of my brain,” says Douglas Appling, the man behind the sampler.
Appling, who began playing music as a four-year-old violinist, started producing electronic music in 2002, and played his first show in 2009, as an unknown opener for Bonobo. Influenced by hip hop and other beat-based music like DJ Shadow and Four Tet, Appling uses audio loops like Lincoln Logs, stacking them up and fitting them together. Amongst the glitches, horns and electronic blips, Appling also likes to record “longer instrumental jams, sample the best parts and begin to work horizontally, developing layers over time.”
Although his release titles (Soon It Will Be Cold Enough and Safe in the Steep Cliffs) wax a brooding, self-sovereign nuance, the cleanliness of beat production integrated with live instrumentation yawps for unbridled inhibitions and getting down.
Emancipator plays 9 pm Thursday, March 29, at WOW Hall; $15adv., $18 door.