Douglas Appling better known by his stage name, Emancipator, has dropped his long awaited fifth studio album Baralku. Recent releases Baralku, Goodness, and Ghost Pong have tided us over till the album drop, and it was certainly worth the wait. The album is comprised of 14 tracks, which blend together seamlessly into a cohesive piece of work. Many of the songs on this album break rules by being genre fluid within the track. However, Emancipator manages to keep a solid feeling in each of his tracks that keeps the listener engaged.
Baralku, the first song on the album, certainly seems to define the album in many ways. It sets a tone by introducing an ambient track rooted in electronic elements. The strings add in a reflective element that could almost be considered celtic. The hidden complexities in the track arguably make it the strongest song on the album.
Ghost Pong, the second song on the album, seems to carry elements familiar to Emancipator’s other works. The song’s strings carry the track, accompanied by classic chopped vocals to fill the space. Ghost Pong certainly deserves its release as one of Emancipator’s singles.
Pancakes, the tenth song on the album, begins with a familiar vintage sound that leads into the vocal chops and percussion. Pancakes provides a tonal shift in the album that switches from trip hop in Bat Country to a chilled out lo-fi track. Its lead is cut off a third of the way into the track where Emancipator takes some intriguing creative liberties that keeps the listener on their toes.
Overall, the album is extremely well crafted with many elements that make this one of his best albums to date. His ability to make the album extremely reflective and engaging made me listen to the album several times over in one sitting. The album defies logic with intricate complexities in lo-fi, and ambient soundscapes. Listen to the full album here!