Scottish singer-songwriter/producer wtrflls’ has garnered a fanbase thanks to the ethereal, otherworldly nature of his music, and so for a debut album the aptly titled OtherWorld is the perfect gift for them. Listen to it in full here.
The beats on this album are next level: the first two cuts are certainly ominous but its not until ‘Sacred Seal’ that they start to swirl with chaotic, necromantic energy. So much of this project’s production sounds like an out of body experience, from the eerie jingle of Illfiger collaboration ‘Peace of Mind’ to the near-Sabbathian guitar licks of Illfiger’s own ‘NetherRealm’. The instrumental contributions from fellow XXIX Club members are perfectly in key with wtrflls’ stylistic choices, and so even when guest producers take their turn the project doesn’t skip a beat. Guest singers operate on a similar level of functionality, Sunburn’s spine-chilling performance on the aforementioned track being the most impressive.
wtrflls has always been a good singer, and here he only tops his past efforts. ‘Blood on the Porcelain’ has a near-baritone vocal performance that evokes doom metal and post-punk as much as it does Goth Money’s more melancholy efforts. The effects used on his soft murmur are tasteful and make the brief guest appearances all the more impactful when they amp up the intensity. There are moments here that aren’t as gripping, and yet the album never really meanders or grows complacent. The atmosphere is intoxicating, the songwriting is greatly improved, and wtrflls’ chemistry with his friends is stronger than ever. Certainly an essential album if you’re looking for the best alternative hip-hop on the market.
– Chris (@108mics)