Today’s featured music is Beneath The Surface, the sixth studio album by local favorite Willdabeast (Gravitas Recordings, Westwood Recordings, Muti Music, Otodayo Records)! Beneath the Surface features collaborators Torbjørn, Buttonz, Renzyx, Glyph, Brotha Nature and Jackson Whalan who each bring their unique input on the tunes, while Willdabeast display their signature style of powerful live horns that drives this genre-bending journey. It’s energetic, melodic and has a sound that is both unique and incredibly fulfilling. Willdabeast are the sort of artists that constantly remind us why we love working with a freeform attitude towards bass music and its fountain of sub-genres. Since releasing Superhighway Afterglow and it’s remixes last year on Muti Music, Willdabeast tunes have been played by the likes of CloZee on her entire Microworlds tour, we’ve also seen them perform as direct support for the likes of Moon Hooch and Balkan Bump & others on more than one occasion and also play their first shows in the city that has pretty much become the capital for this style of music, namely, Denver. Tagged as one of the “Top 10 Horn-Based EDM acts” alongside GRiZ, Russ Liquid and Big Gigantic, this producer duo has what it takes both on and off the stage to handle the reigns with their own unique sound.

The album is about the struggle. The front cover is a bit of an optical illusion. You see the portrait of a person and you’re going behind their brain and into their senses, their central nervous system. It’s something we all share in common…. feelings. These deeply intrinsic factors that belong to all of us are just so important and also can be vital or fatal. They play a big role in all of our lives. I know it’s a big topic and we are all becoming more aware of it, but that is the key — awareness. When we dig beneath the surface, we are able to turn inwards and even in the times of most struggle, hurt, pain – if we can offer kindness – to others, in those moments? We will have a chance of success. Learn to love, to lean in, to be compassionate. We know we always have work to do and always have an opportunity to learn, this is just the beginning, and this is our story. Thank you for listening and welcome to Willdabeast.

The first track God Aim featuring Renzyx comes out of the gate leaning, with impeccable bass drops overlaid by Willdabeast’s signature horn sound. This track is one of our favorites ever released by Willdabeast and encompasses their sound perfectly! There is something about the chord progression in this track that has the potential to be an earworm.

Up next, Don’t Step is a hip hop and glitch influenced track premiered by Headbang Society. Don’t Step is a collaboration with local producer and multi-instrumentalist Torbjørn, featuring his fresh flavor of hard hitting basslines and crispy fresh production. Torbjørn is a Pacific Northwest producer and multi-instrumentalist. Experience on and off the stage formed something truly special here on their first collaboration: a hard hitting, in your face, dark and psychedelic bass toner.

Bedroom In The Sky brings us back to the classic Willdabeast sound and features video game-esque sounds and vocals by local beatboxer and producer Brotha Nature. Bedroom In The Sky is another one of our favorite tracks from this EP. Inner Elephant continues this classic sounds with impressive rapping by Jackson Whalan.

Creature Comfort slows down the tempo a bit and backs off on the bass, with complex layering of vocal effects by Glyph, another local hip hop artist: slow down! Fresh Prints leans back into the glitch influence over an almost middle eastern sounding vocal effect. Both Creature Comfort and Fresh Prints are quite melodic.

MBC, a collaboration with Buttonz, features the return of vocals by Glyph and has a hip hop feel along with the signature horns. Astron features the horn on full display. Live instrument fans, this track is for you! The EP ends with an instrumental version of MBC.

This album is some of the best music we’ve heard from Willdabeast yet. It seamlessly combines live instruments, vocals, glitch and bass into a journey that has no bad track from start to finish. One of our favorite things about this album is the way the different sounds are seamlessly integrated. The number of simultaneous sounds has been reduced, which allows the individual influences to brightly shine. Previous releases had a LOT going on, but this EP demonstrates growth and improvement in that area. Sometimes you need to know when to pull back! This album is the best we have ever heard from Willdabeast and we cant wait to hear what they come up with next.

When asked about how Beneath The Surface came to include so many collaborators, Willdabeast stated:

“Without getting too crazy, yes that was the intention of this album more or less. Our last record Superhighway Afterglow was somewhat of a non-collaborative or minimal collaborative process, I think in that 10 track album we only had one or two small features. On this album, it was almost the opposite. We really wanted to almost flip it on its head and open it up and be way more inclusive. We had planned on splitting the album up, but listening back it didn’t seem right, so some of the material was written a ways back and then we kept going with newer tunes as it progressed and we continued to write. We started experimenting with live drums (on MBC) as well, so that was something new/bizarre. Throw in some cross country collabs with Buttonz and a few out of country collabs (Brazil) with Renzyx and of course the vocalists from the PNW: Glyph, Brotha Nature and Torbjørn as well as our friend Jackson Whalan from the East Coast. We were able to put all these together as one without any support, all with the intention of the collaboration process. It was honestly refreshing, this exhilarating process that clearly was much needed and breathed life into this project and was able to much clearly express these messages much more deeply than how more deeply and convey the meanings on a more significant level.” -Willdabeast

Support local music producers by attending their shows and purchasing/streaming their music: Follow the EmeraldCityEDM EDM Event Calendar to catch Willdabeast’s next live show in the Seattle area!

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