It seems with a single stroke of his pen, Ekali has swiftly solidified his leafy emblem near the crest of the EDM pyramid.
For an inaugural EP, it would be hard for an artist in the electronic circuit to fathom a better threesome of label-housings than an OWSLA, Big Beat, and Atlantic trifecta; Ekali has managed to acquire exactly that for this watershed notch in his still rather formative release history. A frequent and well sought-after collaborator, the Canadian producer hosts a series of esteemed guests to help the listener navigate the glistening Crystal Eyes topography, including K. Flay, Medasin, Elohim, and SLUMBERJACK. The release will coincide with a North American tour, making stops across major musical hotbeds in the US and Vancouver.
Ekali uses the EP to first and foremost demonstrate his ability to wander spacious experimental sonic terrains while primarily keeping one foot grounded in pop sensibility. His track with K. Flay, for example, sees the producer wield the songstress’s notoriously moody pop vocals to accentuate his woefully drawn out guitar chords and wistful synth twinkling. At the other end of Ekali’s emotional rainbow, with exquisitely nuanced support from Medasin and Elohim, “Forever,” invites the listener inside its halcyon fortress of bouncy, beat-privy idealism. Crystal Eyes is a glimpse inside Ekali’s all at once flourishing and fragmented inner world. The EP functions terrifically as a hallmark of Ekali’s affinity for wide-reaching emotion, unfettered energy, and a perceptive level of adventurousness when it comes to his ever-evolving sound design.