Song of the Day: Emancipator – Safe in the Steep Cliffs

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s featured artist is performing at the 2010 Decibel Festival, which runs through Saturday, September 26, at venues all across Seattle. Emancipator will part of the Art of Rhythm showcase at Motor TONIGHT from 11pm-12am. Today’s song of the day is “Safe in the Steep Cliffs” from his second full-length album Safe in the Steep Cliffs self-released on Emancipator Music.

Emancipator – Safe In The Steep Cliffs (MP3)

Tonight’s Decibel Festival Art of Rhythm showcase spotlights four west coast artists including Portland-based artist Emancipator who blends digital music, organic instrumentation, and live arts performance into his sets. It’s the electronic infused with human elements or humanity infused with the electronic. Either way it’s not something you would typically associate with the Decibel Festival.

Portland producer turned art Emancipator is at top of his game having caught the attention of the likes of Bassnectar, STS9, and Pretty Lights as well as festival promoters around the country. His first album, Soon It Will Be Cold Enough, was picked up by a Japanese super-producer and pressed in Japan which sold 5,000 copies in its first six months. Here in the U.S., his mashup “Shook,” comprised of Mobb Deep’s vocals over a Sigur Ros tune, became the highest rated song on Hype Machine’s “Best 50 Songs of 2007″.

What makes Emancipator’s music so compelling is the organic elements of his music. He used a wide range of American folk instruments (banjos, mandolins, violins) and incorporated Asian influences like on his latest album including the title track “Safe in the Steep Cliffs” which layers violins and mandolins over cleanly produced beats. It’s both ephemeral and tangible.

Emancipator embarks on a national tour following his Decibel appearance and will join up with Bassnectar at the end of October. More dates and info on his MySpace page and website. For now, here is a clip of “Shook” produced by Emancipator to help get you in the right frame of mind for tonight’s show:

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