Emancipator is a producer from Portland, Oregon who has been releasing music since the mid-2000s. We last heard from him when he dropped a collaborative EP with Austin guitarist/producer Cloudchord last year, Citrus Fever Dream. Now he’s back with a full-length album, this time done in collaboration with Portland producer/violinist Lapa, 11th Orbit.

Lapa has been playing with Emancipator for over ten years as part of his live ensemble, so the two have a long established chemistry. However, this still marks the first time that they’ve gone in together on a full-length project like this as co-producers/songwriters. The resulting album from this process is beautiful and adventurous. If it has a home base, it’s electronic dance music, as they often fall back on four-on-the-floor beats to center themselves, but even then they never settle for anything too predictable or basic. This is an album that is all about musicality and subtleties, slow builds that take you in unexpected directions, and the power of conveying emotional content through instrumental music. It’s an album that brings in elements of everything from hip hop to jazz to post rock, than filters it through this late-night dance music lens, making for a brilliant dreamy album that will take you from the dance floor to an after-hours diner to a park to watch the stars. It’s an album that is immediately inviting and exciting to listen to, with some great memorable melodies laid down by Emancipator and Lapa, but it’s also so dense and layered, you can listen to it over and over and discover something new each time.

Emancipator and Lapa are no strangers, but 11th Orbit worked so well as their first full-length collaboration, you can’t help but wonder why it took so long to get here. No matter, we have it now, and it is a gorgeous experimental dance album that stands apart from the crowd.