- Will Diebel is from Toronto, and given his idiosyncratic take on hip-hop, it would be easy to file him under the same category as his compatriot Ryan Hemsworth, whatever that might be. His music is less concerned with mainstream rap, however, and it moves with a grand sense of scale rather than Hemsworth's sense of humour. Awry (self-released on cassette) is Deebs' debut EP, showing off a restless sound with a theatricality all its own.
Deebs' music also has an emotional core that sets it apart from the rave tendencies of his contemporaries. "At Sea, Sea Siq" has the kind of oversized bassline and rattling drums that make a trap banger, but the emphasis here is on spaciousness, with metallic sound effects slinking through the crevices in the rhythm. Based off the same cavernous boom-bap, "BBFF" winds its sickly lead line through a lumbering beat, while "Elevate"'s sonorous sample does pirouettes around a skeletal, Neptunes-style foundation.
"Lady Killer" softens the blow with woodwind sounds and a vocal from Mars, but the melody line decays in a strange cadence behind her—a touch that makes the whole song suddenly unstable. "Years," meanwhile, is as epic as they come, but there are little percussive fills hidden in the reverb-doused folds. The cassette winds down with the introspective "Finally Home." In the context of this record that means shuddering metal and choral vocals, because even at his most tender, Deebs can't prevent his music from sounding huge.
01. Arcadia 3333 (Intro)
03. Lady Killer feat. Mars
04. At Sea, Sea Siq
07. Finally Home