Review Summary: Extremely promising debut from a young artist coming seemingly out of nowhere.
Emancipator escaped from the Underground Railroad Chain Gang in the 11th century. He invented the hot air balloon, with which he chartered the Amazon River. He invented wine. Emancipator found the formula for the crystallization of ice during a quiet Japanese winter. He perfected the art of agriculture. He can climb trees faster than you. Emancipator bleeds ambrosia. He discovered Iceland. He can breathe underwater. Emancipator lives in a fortress made of moon rock. His presence attracts songbirds. He can recite all the digits of pi.
So reads Emancipator's biography on his website. Seems like a lot for a 19 year old to handle let alone accomplish, no? Well between all that, he also managed to create one of the better trip-hop/instrumental albums I've heard.
The overall feel of Soon It Will Be Cold Enough is just that - a general chilled out vibe. Beginning on Eve, you are introduced to the frigid violin strings and piano lines that resonate throughout the album. After a slight build up, the drum beat kicks in, and retreats out and in several times over the track, and you are officially thrown into this wintry experience. The atmosphere that I visualize when hearing this is that of a forest somewhere away from civilization, during the First Snow of the season. A similar array of trip-hop drums and piano occurs on this track accompanied by some acoustic guitar furthers the journey into the wilderness. More suspenseful, the beat relaxes midway with a nostalgic sample of a man only to reminisce on another time. Many of the tracks have this sort of feeling such as With Rainy Eyes and Good Knight, incorporating light female incoherent vocals.
Next comes the best two tracks of the album, Lionheart and Maps. Much of the same formula appears, with the beat lightening and fading until the strings stop, and a sample that sounds medieval enters. Unfortunately, this ends the song and begins the next track, Maps. However, it is alright as Maps is another excellent song, incorporating some smooth electric guitar riffs over the piano line, only to relax after a brief sigh and coming to a mellow synth rhythm for a break, until it reappears until it fades again into the darkness of this wintry landscape.
The album commences on The Darkest Day Of The Year, a title foreshadowing the track and exit. A slow, rumbling build up progresses with almost an apocalyptic and chaotic feel.
Ultimately, Emancipators use of layers makes this a truly intriguing listen for any trip-hop or instrumental fan. He keeps the theme of the album in tact throughout while varying it enough to keep the listener interested, and also has movements within each song building up anticipation and calming down the listener to great effect, and ultimately relaxed and at ease.
With Rainy Eyes