I last encountered Phaeleh when he was remixing Roger Goula’s ‘Awe’ earlier in the year. The one-time dubstep pioneer (and classical music escapee) has been busy with his own work in the meantime, building on his assured swirl of garage, folk, trip hop, orchestral detail and bass appetite. His two shows this week – in London and in his Bristolian home base – will see him working through his back catalogue and dropping hints at forthcoming new music.
- The Pickle Factory, 13-14 The Oval, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9DU, England, 7.30pm (with special guest t.b.c.) – information here and here
- The Small Horse, 15 Small Street, Bristol, BS1 1DE, England, Thursday 20th October 2016, 8.00pm (with support t.b.c.) – information
Special guests are promised for both shows, but no solid details have been provided (even now, with just a few days to go). Mysterious, strategic night collisions…
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The following day (across the road, at Pickle Factory’s parent venue Oval Space) Emancipator Ensemble will be kicking off a five-date English tour. Since his beginnings as a restless teenage multi-instrumentalist in Oregon, Douglas Appling has spent a decade inside the Emancipator monicker, developing nicely-sheened downtempo EDM sound-cruises which agglutinate hip-hop, chamber-classical and world music elements into their smooth fuselages. It’s all put together to travel well, and it does – grand post-hippy, post-air-travel voyages of glittering aspirational dreams which skim clouds and chase sunrises across the globe, and which play as well in Athens, Greece as in Athens, Georgia. Well, if the world’s going to continue to collapse into snarling armed camps, we might as well dream where and when we can.
Having previously toured his work accompanied by violinist Ilya Goldberg (reflecting his own early grounding in classical violin), Doug’s recently been performing with his four-piece Emancipator Ensemble. This features himself on programming and guitar, Ilya on violin, Colby Buckler on drums and Mub Fractal on bass – a man who sounds as if he sprung fully formed and groomed from a trippy effects plugin (though you’ll usually find him playing Motown garage pop in Portland’s Brownish Black).
Following his last sold-out London show earlier in the year, Doug returns to debut the Ensemble in five towns across the country:
- Oval Space, 29-32 The Oval, Bethnal Green, London, E2 9DT, England, Thursday 20th October 2016, 7.30pm (with Makeness) – information
- Concorde 2, Madeira Drive, Brighton, BN2 1EN, England, Friday 21st October 2016, 7.00pm (with Calico) – information
- Motion, 74-78 Avon Street, St Philips, Bristol, BS2 0PX, England, Saturday 22nd October 2016, 6.30pm – information
- The Corporation, 2 Milton Street, Sheffield, S1 4JU, England, Sunday 23rd October 2016, 6.30pm (with Fly On Byrd, Fly On) – information
- Belgrave Music Hall, 1A Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, LS2 8JP, England, Monday 24th October 2016 (with Majik + Luo) – information
In London, world-techno act Makeness are down from Scotland to provide Emancipator Ensemble with a support slot of their spacious, aerial downtempo tunes (informed by a love of Detroit techno, Afrobeat and disco, though there’s more than a little of the jazzy Elysian funk of Prince & The Revolution in there too). In Brighton, support comes from Calico (it’s a little unclear who this is, but it might be the Utrecht-based house and techno DJ).
In Sheffield, the Ensemble have a more left-field selection of opener – instrumental post-metal band Fly On Byrd, Fly On – although the teaming makes sense when you listen to the Byrd tracks (their silver-mirror noise elation polished to smooth and shining blocks of sound which fit in smoothly with the Ensemble’s impressionistic and aspirational tone). In Leeds, the Ensemble top a bill including dreamy London R&B/pop duo Majik. They also get to meet a British reflection of themselves in the shape of Luo – originally the solo brainchild of Brightonian sound engineer and electronician Josh Trinnaman, but now expanded to a four-piece live band of bass, guitar, sundry technology and a hyperactive hummingbird-flutter of drums (entwining strands of post rock and mid-‘90s drum & bass as well as rushing electronica).
Clips from just about everyone listed above are here for the chewing-over…