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Live Review: Willaris. K delivers his career best with exhilarating new EP, 'Full Noise'

30 July 2020 | 1:46 pm | Emma Jones

It's been a big year for electrical instrument technician from Tweed Heads-turned-acclaimed producer Willaris. K

It's been a big year for electrical instrument technician from Tweed Heads-turned-acclaimed producer Willaris. K — but not exactly as he had planned it. Releasing not one, but two EPs, he was meant to spend most of this year performing around the world. But, thanks to the you-know-what, he's had to make other plans. Thankfully the two EPs, LUSTRE and Full Noise, slated for this year still arrived, and with their release, so too arrives the confirmation that Willaris. K really is doing something no one else is doing right now. Elevating his craft again and again, he continues to create considered, meticulous music that can be either in either an expansive ambient or a full-throttle techno world, and it's this duality he explores more than ever across his two EPs.

Willaris. K has been hailed as one of the country's most exciting electronic artists since the release of his first single, 'Alchemy', back in 2017. We've covered him extensively since that time (and booked him for one of his first shows!) and with each and every release, he retains this title of indeed being one of the most exciting electronic artists in Australia. It's a title that is so rooted in fact for the producer that it goes beyond being a cliche or hyperbole. He really is that exciting: he consistently delivers releases that exceed increasingly high expectations, circumvents any kind of prediction of where he might head next, and constantly shifts his own goal posts of where his own ambition and drive is taking him.

Across four tracks, Willaris. K (aka Jack McAllister) delivers what is described as "a reminder of the glory of what was and will one day be again." It's powerful, guttural and turbo-charged, with the producer throwing everything he's got at his listeners. Where LUSTRE's power was in what was left unsaid, Full Noise holds nothing back. Lead single 'Chapel', on which McAllister works with Virginia rapper WaveIQ, is a barn-storming show-stopper in which Willaris. K manages to perfectly mould his sound to match the high intensity of WaveIQ's unique brand of hip hop to create a hybrid not heard before. It was a fitting introduction to the record, with the other three songs also rising to the occasion.

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Managing to work with two inspirations on both 'Blunt Sword' featuring Seekae's George Nicholls under the name GN, and none other than Paul Mac himself on 'Full Circle', the title of the latter is very fitting indeed given just how much of a part both artists have played in the development of McAllister's artistic identity. Seekae especially has been heralded as a key influence for the producer, while Mac's own far-reaching influence is felt in just about every corner of the Australian dance music landscape. The importance of the fact both of these artists are on this record cannot be overstated, and they're inclusion at once signifies not only just how highly regarded Willaris. K is right now in the greater landscape of dance music both at home and abroad, but also that the evolution from bedroom producer-on-the-side to fully fledged artist is officially complete.

Tailor made for packed dancefloors we can't be on right now, Full Noise is the frenetic, exhilarating and chaotic sibling of LUSTRE. The latter highlighted Willaris. K's developed songwriting skills and collaboration abilities to work with unlikely partners like GORDI or TOM SNOWDON. It was at times sparse, full of emotion and yearning, and showcased a vastly evolved versatility from the producer. With Full Noise, it's Willaris. K doing what he does best. Having made a name for himself thanks to his now globally-lauded sets, this EP is him hitting his stride, turning up the tempo for a mind-melting, all-out listening experience. When he released 'Alchemy' the song in 2017, he took a chance and had no idea how things would develop. He then took a year off from work to give this music thing a shot, and Alchemy the EP was all the confirmation he and his fans needed to know this was the right call. Now, in 2020, with both LUSTRE and Full Noise under his belt, there is no stopping Willaris. K.

Full Noise is out now via Soothsayer. Buy/stream here.


Image by Josh Camp