96wrld – ‘Private Language’
Before the world, there was chaos. No time, no space, nothing that could resemble any kind of system. More of a thought inside someone’s mind, than an actual happening. And then an idea emerged – sort of a big bang inside his head, a product of chaos, which transformed into a world. However, this new world was grim and cold, one where living beings would turn their backs onto each other. A 9-6 world.
It’s been a long and tiring four year time since Miša Skalskis, a prodigal pianist, started creating his own unique world filled with unheard sounds. At that time, a new scene in Lithuanian music was emerging, deeply inspired by LA Beats scene, accompanied by European electronic artists. These new generation kids spent hours on their computers creating anything, that would impress others, often ignoring any borders of sanity or musicality. One of these new-school weirdos was 96wrld, who shortly after first emerging already had tailored his own unique sound. A big fan of Skwee music, encrusting his beats with bleeps and noises, Miša won the first big Beatmaker’s Battle in Satta Outside 2010 festival. The kid was 16 at that time.
“During the course of ‘Bruce Willis’, the lead single pulled from 96wrld’s forthcoming ‘Private Language’ 12″, listeners are likely to have a few what-the-fuck-just-happened kind of moments” writes Glenn Jackson for XLR8R. Enjoy!
96wrld continued developing his sound, which was always one step ahead of the curve. What we have here is a result of various collaborations, projects and inspirations – the artwork and design is made by Glitchr, who was Miša’s colleague in an audio-visual project, while the title song ‘Private Language’ features Markas Palubenka – an already known new singer, who 96wrld accompanied in Satta 2012 on their duo performance. Immediately from the start the listener is introduced to the artist’s wicked world of sounds, as the intro is an unpredictable soundscape that goes into broken rythms and harmonies. It’s gonna be a glitchy ride.
My absolute favorite has to be ‘Slave’ – an undeniably strong statement after the dreamy intro, that will both make you listen to the details and bang your head. Dark and witty, the bassline even messes up with your brains, and is an audio design piece as much as it is a banger. Masterfully crafted ‘Slave’ is also carrying a social message, which you get into more and more after every listen. ‘Eschatology’ is a bedroom banger, and a cluster of sounds. At times the overflow might seem a bit too much, but the crispiness and freshness of sounds compensates, as the percussion really drives the flow.
‘Pop Song’ seriously sounds like Usher could sing on it – at least on a few of the track’s numerous episodes. The song is far from monolythic , which is an interesting experience, as only a few details bear resemblance to one another, while generally the track shifts to absolute schizophrenic fields. The same idea of different songs in one follows in the already featured ‘Bruce Willis’ track – starting out soft, the song slowly builds up to its anti-drop, where it’s just you, the bassline and the rising bleeps, accompanied by a pitched-down vocal sample. Simplicity at its best, and a testament to previous inspirations of Trap.
‘Kripkenstein’ is yet another ode to bassdrum, high-pitch glitches and voices that serve more as a percussive detail. I liked the ending bit more than the base itself, as the field-recordish, reverby string sounds build up towards ‘Private Language’ – a short, but weirdly lovely piece, using Lithuanian folk song motives. Palubenka’s baritone serves as an instrument more, as the lyrics don’t really shine among the weirdness of the sound. The music itself carries a heavy weight, and is very different from the other songs that are deep and bassy. ‘Satta’ is an ode to the famous inspirational club in Vilnius and the festival. Amazingly smart, the track plays really well with what the listener doesn’t expect, surprising with witty pauses and bleepy movement. It’s truly amazing how these kicky bass tracks are both relative to dancefloors and headphones.
The digital edition of the release also features a remix from the Russian innovator DZA, who also followed 96wrld’s musical path since the Satta Outside 2010. DZA explores different episodes of ‘Bruce Willis’ with different tools – the track is even more crazy than the original, building up to some insane pop chords in the middle of the remix.
Overall, ‘Private Language’ is a proof that electronic music has come a long way here in the Baltics. The sound that 96wrld has developed is unmatched by anyone here or abroad, the obvious matches being only Jameszoo, who has been very active lately, but who relies more on his psychotic vocals than the sounds. Even more importantly – Skalskis is already moving away towards new inspirations, and claims this is a past episode, while to the listeners it is still fresh and new.
We can only hope the talent remains in a bright light, as 96wrld is attracting more and more global reach, with magazines like XLR8R already counting numerous posts on the youngster’s music. ‘Private Language’ is not only a masterfully tailored sound design tale, but also a straight banger.