“Loci is the plural of locus, which is a focus point. It’s a collection of points, the same way each artist on the label is a point in the musical universe. Loci is the meeting point, a platform where we can share our art collectively, and we’d like for this tour to be another series of points where we share this music with you in a live setting.” – Emancipator
On January 14, 2017, at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, I got to experience the first ever Loci Records showcase tour featuring Lapa, Edamame, Tor, and Emancipator! They hit a select number of cities across North America with only one Los Angeles date. All of the show dates were sold out due to them purposely choosing more intimate venues than the previous Emancipator tours. Which I respect immensely.
This was my first time finally getting to see Emancipator perform after many attempts. While they were focused on the Emancipator Ensemble for the last couple years, this was the first time they played a different style show. I’ve been listening to Emancipator for around eight years now and in the past year or so was introduced to Lapa, Edamame, and Tor just by listening to the related tracks section on SoundCloud. I actually had no idea they were all under the same label, but it definitely makes sense!
When we first arrived at the venue, a trip to the restroom was first on the list. I’ll admit, I honestly didn’t know what any of the artists looked like. I’ve never really been one to go off and search photos of artists that I listen to. I develop more of a connection through their music first before knowing what they look like (if I ever find out). So while I’m doing my thing in the restroom, I hear that ringing tone from the intro of “Waves” and I got really excited. I ran out of the restroom squealing to my boyfriend, “OH MY GOD IT’S LAPA!” while jumping up and down and flailing my arms out. Since we got there right when Lapa started, it was still pretty empty inside the venue. Most of the people were on the outside areas or hanging by the bar leaving the front floor empty. Perfect! Of course, we claimed our spot right in the front center. Normally, I don’t care and actually prefer not being smushed in the front, but this was an experience I wanted to be able to see (literally).
The stage was set up very nicely from the lighting, effects, to the installation in the back which looked like studio softboxes with visuals being projected on them. One of the downsides of the venue was the speaker system. Oh god, the bass. The bass was incredibly heavy, especially for downtempo music. It was unfortunate that the bass drowned out a lot of the mids/highs and Lapa’s beautiful violin playing. I had to turn my back away during some heavy bass moments because of the pain I felt in my heart. Boy, was I glad to be wearing ear plugs!
Edamame really felt his music. I love when I see an artist really get into their music while singing along to lyrics and dancing. When an artist feels the vibe to their own music, it’s a vibe you feed off of as well. Tor did a great job at storytelling through his set and led me to some moments where I closed my eyes and got lost in my head. There was one track especially that I felt strongly and do not know what it was. Maybe Tor can hook it up with a track list? *Cough cough*
A couple things that I learned were Lapa plays violin AND he played the violin parts in Emancipator’s songs. Mindblown! I don’t know if I should be embarrassed that I didn’t know that, but it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless! Emancipator’s set was amazing! It’s a trippy feeling hearing and seeing some of your favorite songs you listened to in your teens. Some of those songs helped me get through some interesting times in my life, so they definitely sparked up some emotions. I think people underestimate how powerful music can be. During the set, I was not expecting the variety of genres Emancipator slipped into. A little bit of hip-hop, techno, and drum and bass to tickle everyone’s fancy.
Overall, I’m very happy I got to experience this and I’m feeling an afterglow from it. It was one of those moments that ignited the past eight years of memories in my mind. I’m glad I finally got to see Emancipator and some of the Loci Records crew. It’s a night that will be with me for a long time.