Emancipator, the worldly downtempo alias of Doug Appling, has released his fifth full-length, Baralku.
Taking its name from the of the island indigenous Australian people believe the dead claim as their spiritual home, Baralku continues Emanicpator’s tradition of synthesizing edit-binded shards of world music with his classical training and love for hip-hop.
See that entrancing style on full display in his Red Rocks 2017 recap video below.
Baralku has polished-stone quality: shapely, speckled with earthy textures processed until it gives off a cool-to-the-touch sheen. The elements you’d consider to be foundational to an Emancipator track (a scattering of glassy-eye piano riffs on “Tree Hunt,” the dead-body thud of the drums that break through the vocal warps on “Daffodil Pickles”) are reinforced here in new ways. The violin — an instrument Appling says he’s just recently picked up — consumes a large amount of the album’s melodic space, with surprising flexibility. Through Baralku?’s hour-long run, it lends itself to a jammy folk groove on “Goodness,” then is played with a soured howl in the breakbeat-streaked “Bat Country.”
“Music takes me to places, and each song is a spirit island on which its soul lives infinitely,” Appling said in a statement. “To release a song is both a death and a birth at the same time. 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.”
Listen to Baralku here:
Baralku is out now on Emancipator’s own Loci Records. Check out his tour dates with his five-piece Emancipator Band below.
Emancipator Ensemble Baralku Tour dates:
Jan. 30 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
Jan. 31 – Boston, MA – Paradise
Feb. 1 – New York, NY – Brooklyn Steel
Feb. 2 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts
Feb. 3 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Feb. 7 – Milwaukee, WI – Miramar Theatre
Feb. 8 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
Feb. 9 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall
Feb. 10 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Cafe
Feb. 14 – Birmingham, AL – WorkPlay
Feb. 15 – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity
Feb. 16 – Dallas, TX – Trees
Feb. 17 – Austin, TX – The Mohawk
Feb. 18 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
Feb. 20 – St. Louis, MO – Old Rock House
Feb. 21 – Nashville, TN – Exit In
Feb. 22 – Charlotte, NC – Underground
Feb. 23 – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theatre
Feb. 24 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
March 15 – San Diego, CA – Music Box
March 16 – Los Angeles, CA – Fonda Theatre
March 17 – San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
March 29 – Vancouver, BC – Venue
March 30 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox
March 31 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom