Emancipator

To some, it must seem like this young electronic producer came out of nowhere this year, but those in the know have been following Emancipator since he self-released his first album, "Soon It Will Be Cold Enough," at the age of 19 in 2006. His agile melodies layered over headnodic, immaculately-produced beats captivated fans across the internet and across the world. "Soon It Will Be Cold Enough" was picked up by Japanese super-producer Nujabes, pressed in Japan and sold 5,000 copies in the first six months. Emancipator landed a Puma sponsorship, gave an interview to Rolling Stone Japan, and even had his song "Maps" played at the Bejing Olympics.
His latest album "Safe In The Steep Cliffs" blends new instrumentation and organic samples with the signature Emancipator style of clean production, silky melodies and addictive drums. Dense layers of choirs, horns, American folk instruments such as the banjo and mandolin, violin and some distinct Asian influences make for a playful but refined album built out of intricate tracks listeners can enjoy on as many levels as they want. Dance to it, chill out to it, immerse your mind in it.

In the summer of 2005, after a series of deaths in the family, Michael Deni left his hometown in New Jersey for San Francisco. He spent the next several months with his guitar and a synthesizer, turning that tragedy into the songs that would soon become the foundation for Geographer. With the additions of cellist Nathan Blaz and drummer Brian Ostreicher, Geographer spent the next year cutting their teeth in the Bay Area, winning over crowds with the heart-pounding epics that make up their debut record, 'Innocent Ghosts'. After being selected one of three 'Undiscovered Bands You Need To Hear Now' by SPIN Magazine and garnering considerable word-of-mouth praise from their energetic live shows, the band signed to San Francisco-based label Tricycle Records, releasing a 7" single for the song 'Kites' in October 2009. 'Animal Shapes' follows up 'Kites', building on the synth-driven aesthetic of the single, while irting with darker, more esoteric underpinnings. The record merges Geographer's aptitude for crafting beautiful, haunting melodies with textural sounds and polyrhythmic energy, marking an evolution of their distinct style. With the overwhelming response to the release of 'Kites' and 'Animal Shapes', punctuated by a dynamic and engaging live set, the band has already begun to make an indelible mark on the ears of music fans worldwide.

Big Black Delta

"If you didn't have standard pop music as a reference, what would your pop music sound like?" Jonathan Bates asked himself this very question, and the answer, he found through his discovery of his solo project, Big Black Delta. 

Originally from Venezuela, Jonathan Bates found his way to Miami, Florida at the age of seven. At seventeen, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. In late 2000, he decided Berklee was not for him and found a better "home" couch surfing in Los Angeles, all because of a girl. 

Through his exploration of LA, he started the band Mellowdrone, who put out several EPs independently as well as an LP on Columbia Records. Feeling as though he was drowning after the last Mellowdrone record, Bates decided to take a long break from the "band" aesthetic. He felt the need to create something different, without any rules, in hope it could expand his consciousness. He bought a used laptop from close friend, Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails, SONOIO) and began sound-designing and circuit-bending to make original, simple music. By doing everything slightly wrong in the studio, on purpose, Bates set out to make music that wasn't bound by gravity. He didn't limit himself instrumentally either. "Give me anything, and ill make it work. Especially if it's stringed," Bates noted. This musical re-discovery, combined with Bates' favorite dinner table conversation, UFO folklore, and the Big Black Delta project was born.

As a successor to the debut EP BBDEP1, Big Black Delta's debut LP BBDLP1 will be released on September 26th on Coming Home Records. Citing "being out of tune" as a muse, the songs on the album are the spawn of Bate's imagination and inspired musical exploration. It was recorded entirely on the used laptop from Cortini in and all over Los Angeles, from assorted apartments and friends' houses to backyards across the city, often at all hours of the night. Guests on the album include Cortini, who played his buchla on "The Zebrah," as well as Morgan Kibby (M83, White Sea) whose vocals are featured on "Dreary Moon."

"Snare tones are more important than guitar tones," Bates explains in an interview with Kevin Bronson ofBuzzbands.la on what his foray into electronica has revealed. "It's amazing how one simple sound can change everything, but using just that one tone can make a song sound like it comes from the '80s." About the first song released from the LP, Bronson praises, "BBD's banging track 'Huggin & A Kissin' sounds like Every Eighties Band We Loved."

Outside of constantly envisioning new songs for Big Black Delta, Bates continues to be called upon to collaborate. He has been extensively involved with M83, having been a part of the band as a touring guitarrist, recording vocals for their upcoming album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, as well as teaming up with the group for a remix of Daft Punk's "Fall" featured on the Tron Legacy Soundtrack: R3CONFIGU3D. Bates also co-produced "Mountaineer" and "Lady Killer" for the band White Sea (Morgan Kibby of M83) and often writes and performs with them. As for other collaborations with friend Alessandro Cortini, Bates was featured on his solo project SONOIO's track, "Houdini," and also did a remix of the song which was released on SONOIO's remix album.

Although Bates likes to create his soundscapes in the modest confines of his home studio, the live show is an experience unto itself. Live vocals, dancing, orchestrated light show, and dueling female drummers (Mahsa Zargaran and Amy Wood). Need we say more?

Magic Bronson

Magic Bronson is an Alternative/Electronic duo from Los Angeles made up of producers Michael Nicastro, and Matthew Lieberman. Magic Bronson creates a unique dance sound, that utilizes Nicastro's vocals, and Lieberman's live bass, as well as synth's and programmed drums. The duo is set to release their debut EP "Nor'easter" May 28th on Woodlake Records.

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Emancipator with Geographer, Big Black Delta, Magic Bronson, ToneSol

Saturday, July 20 · Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM at The Catalyst