Yesterday, almost two full years after the original release of Emancipator’s junior album, Dusk to Dawn, we’re provided with the first full length remix album (of a specific album) from his catalogue, now available via Bandcamp through home label Loci Records.
A remix of an Emancipator track can go any which way: the downtempo grooves of Portland’s Doug Appling lend themselves well to vivid re-imaginingings in their solid melodies, workable drum loops, and versatile atmospherics- in simplest terms, there are no limitations for a gifted producer who’s handed a set of Emancipator stems. On the Dusk to Dawn Remixes, we’re looking at eleven, from Loci labelmates: Eliot Lipp, Lapa,9 Theory, Saqi, D.V.S. and Tor, and “outsiders”, Frameworks, Odesza, NKLA, and Erothyme.
Too many tracks here demand analysis for any sustained reader interest- I’ll touch on a few personal favorites with extenuating detail.
Two years ago, I went to interview Emancipator on his first tour with the full ensemble- and saw Odesza open. At the time, I was astounded by their performance, but never would have predicted they’d aspire to their current popularity of 350,000 Soundcloud followers which I’m happy to say isn’t only due to brilliant PR and marketing (although they’ve got that going as well). Their contribution here, “Eve II”, is a real standout, with simple 4/4 kicks and delicate synth work powering “tribal” vibes that mirror the original.
A pleasant surprise for old downtempo fans on the Dusk to Dawn remix credits in the resurgence of Little People, a man whose production history extends as far back as Emancipator himself with his now classic Mickey Mouse Operation (2006). His touch on “Afterglow”, hinges on a swung bassline for a more spacey, garage-oriented breaks track.
Far and away my favorite flip here however comes from Erothyme, who follows in the success of a former Emancipator remix, “Safe in the Steep Cliffs” with work on “Dusk to Dawn”. Erothyme has here preserved the hard-rock, heavy-hitting boom bap influence so prevalent in the original Emancipator formula, glitching and effecting the drumline in itself, as well as overlaid instrumental elements. There’s even a semblance of scratch at work here, playing with stanky bass textures that are sure to resonate with the real “heads” far and wide.
All that text, and I’m only hitting highlights- for more from the album itself, listen below, or head to Bandcamp for the immediate download if you’re sick of ad interference in your stream.