Thank goodness Denver was one of the nine cities chosen to be a part of the Loci Records Label Showcase. Emancipator’s Doug Appling, created the label, which he says on the label’s website is a, “crossroads of melodic downtempo, instrumental hip-hop, and electronica.” This showcase was exactly that!
With artists like Lapa, Edamame, and Tor signed to the label, you get Emancipator type feels, each with their own twist. The acts leading up to Emancipator built the energy up and gained any previous non-fans in the crowd. And with Emancipator having a pretty consistent sound and energy, it was pleasant to have openers that were each individual, while sticking to the overall fluidity of the show. Hip-hop beats, deep house rabbit holes, and easy to follow bass lines made this the perfect collaboration of music, with just enough diversity to keep it interesting.
The sold out show took The Bluebird by storm, full of fans young and old alike, exploding with sounds of excitement and gratitude as soon as Doug Appling and violinist, Ilya Goldberg took the stage. Octagon shaped projection screens, arranged in a sort of half circle behind all the artists, came especially to life when Emancipator started to play. Visions of sleepy winters, trippy psychedelia, and serene scenes of greenery ebbed and flowed to the music, and provided the crowd with a visual guide.
The soft, peaceful sounds of Goldberg’s violin, paired with Appling’s downtempo electronic beats, is a match made in heaven. Or Portland. As if their music couldn’t get any better, Appling threw in some old school, hip-hop, fan favorites, and had the crowd bumping and grinding in breakdowns. Very clear that Denver wanted to dance, Emancipator delivered and gave us some groovy music to get down to.
A wonderful compilation of many of their records, Emancipator’s set had a wonderful simplicity to it. A full house, an inspiring and thoughtfully put together showcase, and all the enchanting energy procured by these artists all add to an extensive past, full of great performances, put on by some of Denver’s favorites.