Over the past year, Ekali (real name (Nathan Shaw) has ever so ardently proven himself a tastemaker in future bass and a trailblazer in the live performance space. The Vancouver-born instrumentalist and producer has released with Illenium and 1788-L and has unreleased collaborations with Nitti Gritti and Skrillex.
Perhaps that’s why we named his an Artist to Watch in 2019 over a year ago. That is to say, no one could have expected his debut album roll-out to drag into 2020. Yet, at the same time, the mark of true art is no never rush greatness. The time has finally come for Shaw’s debut full-length effort, A World Away. He’s been teasing the album for some time now, with the Reo Cragun-assisted track, “Run Away,” and singles like “Be Fine” with Wafia and “Back To You” with Kiiara.
Upon first listen, one theme is readily clear off-the-bat: Future bass just got a lot stronger. At the same time, the 12-track album is so much more than one genre. A World Away is full-scale listening journey that demands to be listened not in bits and pieces but as a full sum of all its parts. From the LP’s opener with rising star Elohim, “Fairy Tale,” to the mossy.-assisted track, “Cage,” which is a staunch world-infused track laced with house elements, to the heavier leaning “Power” alongside Nitti Gritti, the entire project builds to beautiful perfection.
Carefully thought-out, and meticulously crafted every step of the way, A World Away is one album that will forever define Ekali’s roots. It’s a fact he knows and cherishes. The album is a visceral, captivating original work that will be setting trends in dance music for years to come.
Photo credit: Jimmy Fontaine.