Favorite ThisEmancipator: Remixes Review

Published: July 19, 2011

By: Gracie Roberts

Doug Appling, better known as Emancipator, released his third album, Remixes, in late June. This 14-track compilation album features music from his last two albums, Soon it will be Cold Enough and Safe in the Steep Cliffs, remixed by an impressive roster of artists.

The album includes collaborators such as Blockhead, Ooah (of The Glitch Mob), Big Gigantic, Michal Menert, along with Emancipator himself, who have contributed their expertise and put their own spin on Emancipator’s already innovative work. Working together, these artists have made Remixes a unique, multifaceted collection worthy, not only of Emancipator’s catalog, but as a stand-alone compilation.

Nym’s remix of “Anthem” appropriately opens up the album, putting a spacey, jammed-out feel on the original version of the song. Adding piano, punchy drums, and strings, Nym gives a renewed meaning to the track’s title—an anthem that can be listened to in almost any environment, evoking multiple emotions in the listener at once.

“Ares,” rehashed by Big Gigantic, takes the album in a completely different direction. With the huge bass drops, synths so fast they sound almost out of control, and intense melodies, this track has gotten a major makeover. Big Gigantic made “Ares” ready for any dance floor, so clubs best prepare themselves for a sound that is, well, gigantic.

Blockhead’s take on “Nevergreen” is one of the many highlights from Remixes. The bouncy synth and shuffled beat blended with ghostly vocals have a positively haunting effect that sets it apart from the rest of the release. This track will stop the listener in his tracks, to say the least.

The album’s first single, “First Snow (Ooah Remix)” is topped with simple synthesizers and evocative vocals and sets a standard for many of the chillout tracks on Remixes. Other notable tracks with a similar sound include “Bury Them Bones (Marley Carroll Remix),” Emancipator’s remix of “Black Lake,” and of course, “Soon it will be Cold Enough to Build Fires,” reworked by Aligning Minds. These tracks boldly mix the genres of chillout and glitch to form a rare sound that serves to define the album.

With fourteen tracks filled to the brim with a vast array of electronic genres, Emancipator’s Remixes is teeming with creativity and imagination. His ability to bring together such a high-caliber roster of world-class producers has cemented his name among the true “artists’ artist” in the electronic music world. In a time of growing success for Emancipator, Remixes will continue to reveal his immense talent and skill to a broad span of audiences.


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