Emancipator

What The Festival?! 2014

This June 19-22, Central Oregon plays host to the third annual What The Festival, which boasts a stellar lineup this year that includes a handful of great local artists. From the headliners to the early sets by up and comers, music fans will have many opportunities to see what this region has in it’s electronic suitcase, while partying night and day. 

While we would love to rightfully claim festival headliner Washed Out as one of Portland's own, having written the theme song to Portlandia, he hails from the other side of the country. However, on the same musical plane and also performoing at WTF, is Portland’s homie Emancipator. Producing worldly chillwave music at a high level, he mixes in a variety of live instrumentation, which should be highly showcased at this festival as he will be backed by his band, the Emancipator Ensamble.

Another well known local name on the bill is Natasha Kmeto, who has steadily been on the rise with four albums and a strong national following. Her R&B voice matches well with the dark and laid-back beats that she sings over. WTF is just one of many festivals she will be playing at this summer.

Local producers Solovox (who is currently featured in the Deli Portland's Artist of the Month poll)and Manoj will deliver energetic dancy sets. Solovox is a live mixer and synth wizard. His music will take you on a funk driven ride that will result in you losing your sunglasses. Manoj mixes bouncy beats that have made him a master at the art of dance music. Other notable Oregon acts are the bass heavy Mr. Wu and Octoban.

It can be easy for larger-scale festivals to neglect local influence. But with a packed lineup of local DJs and surrounded by spectacular scenery, What The Festival Is staying true to it’s Oregon colors. Get tickets to WTF here.

- Colin Hudson

   

Emancipator at Crystal Ballroom 3.28.14

It could be justifiably argued that Emancipator is the most influential musician to come out of Portland in the past decade. The calm, balanced approach to his electronic productions served as a precursor to the chill wave sound. But that’s not what’s important, what is important is that this Friday he brings the Emancipator Ensemble together for a homecoming show at the Crystal Ballroom. And regardless of importance, his music is as symbolic to Portland as apple pie is to America.

The base of Emancipator’s songs is an addictive and steady drum beat that makes a sturdy, yet tasty crust. The filling is an abundance of real, acoustic instruments looped into danceable melodies that are delivered hot on a cold plate. Before serving, he spreads a top layer of Ilya Goldberg’s smooth violin (cool whip if you’re into that) to make for the perfect late night snack. - Colin Hudson