By Josh Herwitt //
In a matter of 10 years, Douglas Appling has gone from college student to electronic music producer to record label owner and founder. He has managed to release four studio albums and travel the world in that time, doing it all under his liberating stage name Emancipator. And at the young age of 25, he created Loci Records, which is now home to a cast of up-and-coming artists making music in the vein of melodic downtempo and instrumental hip-hop.
Last Saturday, four of the label’s 10 signees entertained a sold-out crowd in LA on the final night of its U.S. showcase tour. Serving as support at The Roxy Theatre were Tor, Edamame and Lapa, who each set the mood for Emancipator’s headlining set to follow — and what a doozy it was. As Emancipator, Appling has a unique way of melding hip-hop beats with the orchestral sound coming from his sidekick Ilya Goldberg’s violin. He even threw in a Snoop Dogg sample at one point, spreading energy across the venue’s tightly packed dance floor. This wasn’t the Emancipator Ensemble experience that we’ve witnessed before, but it was clear that Appling’s performances have continued to get better with each and every year.