“Emancipator” Review 

 The eclectic electronic group Emancipator performed wednesday night at Higher Ground.  www.theuntz.com
The eclectic electronic group Emancipator performed wednesday night at Higher Ground. www.theuntz.com

Fall is here, which means Higher Ground’s coat check was in full effect Wednesday night.

The box office line was crowded all the way to the door with people trying to buy last minute tickets to see electronic producer Emancipator, which surprisingly wasn’t sold out.

The venue was scattered with concertgoers, half of them hugging the front railing and the other half drinking in the sectioned-off bar area.

Higher Ground now constrains you to very back of the venue if you want to enjoy a drink during the show, thereby separating you from friends and distancing you from the stage. However, this aberration didn’t matter for Emancipator.

The band took stage as the ensemble, which includes mastermind Doug Appling, Ilya Goldberg on violin, Colby Buckler on drums and ensemble cello and bass players.

While the music is soulfully compelling played through most devices, hearing it live takes it to a whole new level.

It’s an unforgettable experience. Watching Goldberg’s bow strokes and Buckler’s intricate drumming technique is mesmerizing.

Emancipator debuted their new album, “Seven Seas,” which made it nearly inconceivable to take a bathroom break.

From the seducing echoed lyrics to the subtle flute interjections in the background, “Land and Sea,” featuring Molly Parti was clearly a hit. Parti’s raspy voice was the perfect unexpected touch.

While it’s uncharacteristic for Emancipator to include vocals in their music, the new album incorporates them seamlessly. It appears to be a promising new direction for Appling.

“Seven Seas” featuring Madelyn Grant is yet another track with hypnotic lyrics. As they began, the lyrics “we’ve been defied” over the slow grind guitar and progressing drumbeats created a sense of empowerment. Although neither Parti nor Grant were present, the recordings stood powerful enough on their own.

Though  Emancipator played most of the “Seven Seas,” they also played various tracks from “Dusk to Dawn,” “Soon it Will Be Cold Enough” and “Safe in the Steep Cliffs.”

“First Snow” was the highlight that made you forget where you were and what you were doing. With a voiceover that talks about life and death, the song immerses the mind into thought and the body into dance.

Emancipator’s music created a relaxed environment. There were no tossed elbows or grimy grinding, but rather a spacious environment for intimate dancing or simple admiration.

Emancipator struck a nostalgic chord by ending with “Dawn to Dusk,” . The enchanting choir and fast paced beat left everyone wanting more.

One cannot put words to the Emancipator experience because it is indescribable. The only way to truly understand it is to experience it.

Emancipator stays true to its name; the music is both groovy and tranquil in its liberation or its emancipation.