For years Doug Appling has been producing some of the cleanest, most finely produced trip hop the world under his Emancipator moniker. Just recently he debuted his new album, Dusk To Dawn. When we spoke with him to find out more about his recording and editing process, Doug said, “I record everything at my home studio surrounded by various guitars, keyboards, percussion, and stringed instruments. I’ll loop a particular section of the arrangement, record improvised jams, and listen back over to find the best bits. As far as other samples, I’ll browse though different sounds while the song is playing and listen for what sticks.”
Much like his previous albums, the cover art for Dusk To Dawn features moody, outdoor landscapes. What do they mean? Doug explained, “the natural world inspires my imagination all the time as I find it shares many emotions and concepts with the world of music. Just as music is defined as organized sound, our world is comprised of organized matter. Every song is its own world, its own ecosystem of sound–a delicate interaction of elements that work together to create something whole. I strive to write music as complex, balanced, and beautiful as what I see in nature. The locations for my album covers include Germany, the Swiss Alps, Tofino, and one place I’ve been to near the border of Oregon and California.”
Curious about his track selection, we asked Doug how he decided upon the final ten tracks for Dusk To Dawn. Turns out the making of the album took place over a few years. “I’ve made dozens of songs in the past three years, and these are the ten that evolved most completely by the time I wanted to release an album. There were fifteen songs I was seriously considering before narrowing it down to ten. In the next few months my work will be finishing those tracks before they are lost to time and also writing brand new material,” Doug stated.
Although his latest LP has a familiar sound to his previous work, it also offers some fresh variation. Doug revealed, “Dusk to Dawn features more guest musicians than my previous albums. I also expanded my horizons of tempo and style on tracks like Afterglow and Eve II.” When asked who else he would like to work with, he was quick to respond. “Bonobo sets the bar in many ways as far as musicality and production quality,” Doug stated. “Four Tet expands my musical imagination and makes me hear sounds in new ways all the time, always with amazingly tight drum grooves. I’d also like to make a track with Timbaland.”