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Live Review: Anatole strikes a fine balance on the mosaic-like ‘Emulsion’

12 November 2018 | 5:55 pm | Michael Stratford Hutch

Sydney-based producer and multi-instrumentalist ANATOLE, aka Jonathan Baker, has just released ‘Emulsion,’ the fourth single from his forthcoming album. The release follows previous offerings ‘Like Deep Water’ (feat. Ólafur Arnalds), ‘Outgrown’ (feat. Tom Iansek), and ‘Only One’ (feat. IDA). ‘Emulsion,’ however, is unique in that it is the first track so far from the album without a guest vocalist.

The piece is constructed, broadly speaking, in two halves. The first half dances between a motif of ascending, lower-register piano, and a repeating, chopped sample of flute, which then flows directly into smaller sections of gorgeous, almost impressionistic piano. These elements form around Anatole’s signature percussion, which always drives but is never intrusive, rolling forward with a subtle use of sidechaining that gives the song an effective pulsing feel.

The second half is more introspective in tone, where panned strings, gentle sub bass, ride cymbal, distant trumpet, and woodwinds gently caress the listener to its close. As always with Anatole's sound, supremely balanced instrumentation and mosaic-like sampling create a true sense of balance and design.

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Not only are the juxtapositions within each section evocative, but the contrast between the two halves of the song are also a welcome break from verse-chorus pop structures. Anatole himself said on the release: “it contains a few different styles that I had been experimenting with and the title was born out of pushing these seemingly disparate sounds into the same space and creating something new.”

With each new track from the album, it really does feel as though Anatole is taking us on distinct sonic journeys. The four tracks released thus far are a testament to his ever-developing, distinctive style, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the album brings.

Photo by Jeff Anderson Jr