And yet another album of the month from a new artist – this time it’s the full length debut by Jonathan Baker aka Anatole. Having a background in jazz and classical music, his take on temporary pop music is of course somewhat different. Already a rising star in the music scene of his native Australia, his debut album had been highly aniticipated after he had done a lot of remix and production work and played the occasional gig with his live-outfit as a trio. “Emulsion” combines his aforementioned background with the more electronic forms of soul music and contemporary electronic music in general – be it pop music, Neo-IDM or just plain danceable, beat-driven productions.
“I want this record to be something that reveals new things in every listen and requires attention in listening to reveal those details. There is something about hyper-casual listening that terrifies me as a musician, especially in this new age we are in where music is drifting towards an algorithmic emotional wallpaper.”
Well put, Mr. Baker. Only because a records doesn’t jump in your face you have no right to let it sink in the background while you do the dishes. Just listen, will you? Okokok, you got the point. We more or less always champion the musicians and producers that pay attention to detail and make their work function as an offer to the listener, to get involved and to pay attention. Those pieces of art also do tend to have a longer lifespan as you can always get something new out of it with every spin you give them. “Emulsion” is a fine example how accessible music with pop-appeal could or maybe should function – meticulously crafted and diligently produced, containing a wide range of influences without screaming “here’s some jazz, here’s some soul, here comes the ballad, now you gotta dance!”.
“Emulsion” is a wonderful album that sits somewhere between Gold Panda, Bill Laurance, Nils Frahm and Royksopp. Sounds odd? Just listen.