Written by Jennifer Seifert

Emancipator’s fifth full-length album, Baralku, is a true glimpse into the organic workings of the mind of American producer, Doug Appling. Combining classical music, symphonic melodies and downtempo beats with hip-hop infused undertones, Baralku is truly a treat for the senses that transports the listener to a world of pure, unadulterated bliss.

“‘Baralku’ is a mythological spirit island in the Milky Way upon which departed souls build fires to let their loved ones know they arrived safely in the afterlife. I was moved by the imagery of this concept as it relates to my life and the creative process.”

Baralku exudes a melodic space and creates an other-worldly atmosphere where the listener becomes thoroughly entrenched in the celestial cosmos Emancipator manifests through the impeccably polished and calming sounds which endure throughout the album.

“Music takes me to places, and each song is a spirit island on which its soul lives infinitely. To release a song is both a death and a birth at the same time. The sounds contained in each song have reached the end of their life process. The once shapeshifting collage of expression has been crystallized into a final form, no longer kinetic. Yet it exists in a state of permanent potential energy, waiting to be accessed in the form of music, just as the memory of a departed soul will always have the power to move us.”

The title track sets the tone for the entire album. “Baralku” provides an airy melody complemented by Appling’s exquisite use of the violin throughout to accentuate the subtle, experimental tones that build upon the earthy foundation of the album as a whole.

“Abracadabra” and “Udon” highlight Appling’s fusion of hip-hop into the album without compromising its flow as a singular story-telling entity. In “Rappahannock,” Emancipator effortlessly combines the organ and banjo; two instruments that seemingly contradict one another but synchronously coexist in this track.

Baralku is the quintessential winter soundtrack, so kick back and relax in front of the fireplace with friends or soak in the tub with a glass of wine and let Emancipator’s new album ease the stress of everyday life.

Listen to the full Baralku album


Baralku is out now via Loci Records. Check out Appling’s upcoming U.S. tour dates where he will be performing with his five-piece Emancipator Band.

Emancipator Ensemble Baralku Tour:

Jan. 30 – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
Jan. 31 – Boston, MA – Paradise
Feb. 1 – New York, NY – Brooklyn Steel
Feb. 2 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts
Feb. 3 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Feb. 7 – Milwaukee, WI – Miramar Theatre
Feb. 8 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
Feb. 9 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall
Feb. 10 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Cafe
Feb. 14 – Birmingham, AL – WorkPlay
Feb. 15 – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity
Feb. 16 – Dallas, TX – Trees
Feb. 17 – Austin, TX – The Mohawk
Feb. 18 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
Feb. 20 – St. Louis, MO – Old Rock House
Feb. 21 – Nashville, TN – Exit In
Feb. 22 – Charlotte, NC – Underground
Feb. 23 – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theatre
Feb. 24 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
March 15 – San Diego, CA – Music Box
March 16 – Los Angeles, CA – Fonda Theatre
March 17 – San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
March 29 – Vancouver, BC – Venue
March 30 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox
March 31 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom