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Ekali has long been a staple of the electronic music scene, consistently providing fresh, masterfully produced, emotion-evoking soundscapes that many hold extremely close to heart. His latest artistic achievement, a 12-track album filled—but not oversaturated with—complimenting collaborations and breathtaking originals, is a diverse masterpiece representing the pinnacle of Ekali’s years of hard work and evolution. A World Away is a beautiful and exciting journey from start to finish.
The anticipation for Ekali’s debut album has been building exponentially since he teased its release last year and an additional secret side project. The album was undoubtedly worth the wait, and not only meets, but exceeds expectations in every way imaginable, beginning with the very first track, Elohim collaboration “Fairy Tale.”
Self-described by Ekali as “my favorite song I’ve ever made,” “Fairy Tale” is a flawlessly mixed sonic cocktail overflowing with infectious lyrics and impeccable sound design. The sheer level of emotion and passion fans of Ekali have grown accustomed to has never been so explicitly felt than in this beautiful song that amply sets the tone for the remainder of the album. Ekali’s creative implementation of unique drums and blending of diverse sounds breathes fresh life into an increasingly stagnant and oversaturated genre of music.
The authenticity of this album is supported by Ekali’s character outside of his work. Ekali has always been a generous and passionate supporter of young musicians without the financial means to develop their craft. In early 2019, Ekali used funding from an edit pack he released to create a music studio space in Vancouver open to young musicians completely free of charge. Tweets from Ekali in July also indicate plans to reopen the charity studio in Los Angeles, developing a community for young producers to hone their skills and advance their craft. Ekali’s admirable character, charitable heart, and genuine care for the electronic music industry add a depth to his sound simply unattainable by artists lacking pure intentions.
A standout track from the album, Nitti Gritti collaboration “Power” adopts a more defiant tone, allowing Ekali to highlight his diverse production skills. This massive trap-fueled hit offers a listener a chance to collect oneself and refuel on energy before moving forward into another sure-to-be emotional half of the LP. Boasting massive low frequency hits in an encapsulating and invigorating drop, “Power” is truly a powerful piece that is sure to make its rounds in this year’s festival circuits.
This flawless album reaches its climax at its simultaneous conclusion with track 12, Illenium collaboration “Hard to Say Goodbye.” With both Illenium and Ekali being undisputed industry leaders of future bass, this highly anticipated collaboration released last November perfectly embodies everything these two talented musicians have worked towards their entire careers. “Hard to Say Goodbye” is an emotional masterpiece that concludes the album as strongly as it began.
For many artists, a full-length album is the penultimate achievement of their career. For Ekali, A World Away is a phenomenal commencement to the next chapter of his already-accomplished career. Whether it’s during those long car drives, sleepless nights, or just spending time with friends, this album is certain to be on repeat for many months to come.
Photo credit: Brandon Artis