Evilldewer Netherrealms review
by Alex P80 Parks
The Waveform Scientician is back at it again. The Boston-based producer released 5 tracks on Friday from his highly anticipated tape Netherrealms, due May 7. This limited edition of only 30 cassettes is mostly an instrumental album but features a few of the sharpest emcees currently. Evilldewer varies these tracks yet adheres to the theme of the album with great success, showcasing his own multifaceted beatmaking skills while also letting talented lyricists shine.
“Portal jumping” Imagine standing in front of a portal into another dimension. This world is safe and familiar, with calm air and a reassuring tone. You are a willing participant in the experiment, accepting whatever fate lies ahead. Punch in the coordinates and patiently wait as the organs are heard; they build and climb into a crescendo, breaking down every molecule in your body. You arrive as a whole in an unknown time and place. Technologically advanced, yet a layer of grime coats the surface, with thick smog congesting the air. The vibe is Futuristic, yet there is a primitive feel as Evilldewer paints a narrative that pulls in the listener as the main character, creating a first person perspective of the grim dystopian landscape.
Developing a particular sound doesn’t seem to be paramount for Evilldewer. It’s the feeling and mood that is captured which is most important in his music. Often, his sonic imagery can be psychedelic, seeming surreal and worthy of just vibing out. Though his work can seem futuristic at times, he avoids calling his music “space beats.” That would be cliche and slighting Evilldewer’s true capacity in his art. Regardless of sub-genre or further analysis in labeling, there is no debate that Evilldewer’s sound is unique.
A true renaissance man, Evilldewer is an artist, musician and creative wonder. His visual artwork can be chaotic and intense, using multiple media full of textures and varying tones, to capture a feeling, an essence. His beats achieve the same effect, leaving the listener unsettled, but vibrant and awake. Perhaps the interpretation is more in the overall tone of his work, as if it’s disorienting, uncomfortable or maybe even paranoid. Or perhaps it’s even an acknowledgement or projection of some personality flaws that exist within us all.
“Plus Degrees” Feat Estee Nack and Sauce Heist The abrupt and jarring beat on this track is perfect for the flow of Nack and Sauce, both highly capable of incinerating a track. The samples Evilldewer flips and chops is an assault on the listener. The beat tenderizes the ears up, while the emcees pound em into little cauliflower stubs. Estee Nack comes with his usual hype energy, intricate rhyme patterns and some of the best ad-libs put on wax. Sauce Heist is a hard NYC emcee with a smooth delivery and plenty of clever lines. Both emcees have been working at a blazing pace of late, bodying every beat they touch.
“Ultramagnetic BodyBags” Evilldewer’s collaboration with Vic Spencer was initially released a couple months back to critical acclaim. Sonically, the tone evokes the war scene of SkyNet vs the resistance from T2: Judgement Day. Again, the beat is unsettling and disruptive to the listener with punchy drums and splashing cymbals. The arrangement on this track really shows off Evilldewer’s ability to incorporate so many different elements, orchestral or otherwise. Halfway through, the beat flips into an even more sinister realm. Vic Spencer does his typical damage on the mic. Whenever Vic hits a track, other emcees start re-thinking their career choices. His pen game is on an elite level, with several moments requiring a pause and backtrack.
“The Arrival” feat Paranom Evilldewer creates a lush arrangement on the beat with orchestral piano sounds. It’s shades of vintage Havoc/Mobb Deep with the crackly vinyl sample as the foundation. The track is slightly reminiscent of “Three” from Prodigy’s 2000 album HNIC. That Prodigy track happened to be produced by the iconic Alchemist. Paranom comes in quick, stabbing the track up with precision and a fiery determination. P-Nom loses his mind on this track, setting fire to the mic and burning it down. Paranom clearly had one intention on this track: to leave no survivors.
“Dumbledore Raps” feat Illingsworth A bouncy track with a synth bass groove which complements Illings’ articulate yet playful flow. Evilldewer stays in the same industrial, Blade-Runner universe on this track. The desolate scene is complete with laserbeams, conveyor belts and assembly-lines building robotic machines ready to take over the globe. The instrumental continues on the track as if that machine just doesn’t stop for nothing.
Even in just the 5 tracks released with the cassette preorder, it’s clear that Evilldewer doesn’t cater to other’s preferences. His music is most certainly unconventional. Not just to be different though, but to exist in its own space. On these tracks he has really captured that sense of the harsh industrialism and cold post-apocalyptic world he may envision for our future. All of the beats are really a statement to his evolution as a producer and to his aesthetic style as an artist.
Find Evilldewer’s Netherrealm at BandCamp here: