13Love by Worth – Music review
Reviewed by Ralph White
Give a man a piano and he may write a symphony. Give a man a synthesizer and he may not only write a symphony, but he may also arrange, orchestrate, perform and record it all on his own. This is only one of the many, many possibilities that the electronic musician has at his fingertips.
Worth began creating music at the early age of 5. Raised in a music loving family, he loved to listen to his mother perform her own compositions on piano; they bought him his first guitar (a cheap Peavey) one Christmas. By the time the boy reached the age of 16 he was experimenting with a Midi Production Controller, then eventually, discovered Mac Pro Tools which allowed him to more fully craft digital sound. By December 13th, 2013, Worth had written, recorded and released his debut album titled “13Love”.
The following is a brief synopsis of each number on “13Love”. Opening this collection of 13 songs is the Jimi Hendrix referenced track, “6 Becomes 9” (3:32). It’s an atmospheric groove set to a tight electronic drum pattern that sounds reminiscent of a dark-planet-like science fiction movie soundtrack.
“Free the Slaves” (2:11) slows the tempo down a notch or two. Worth’s use of soulful vocal samples throughout the tune is a bit haunting on one level while strangely comforting on another.
Changing things up some is “Save Yourself” (4:10), a mellow mix of lounge and trance featuring fellow musician Bellic. It’s intensely contemplative mood makes it feel like one of the more serious sonic soundscapes on this odd numbered compilation.
“Wake up Call” (3:33) features rapper and fellow partner in crime Dopethought (these two Utah musicians recently released a hip-hop single last month titled “Godly Indigos”). The addition of an MC like Dopethought on vocals totally takes the vibe in yet another and very different direction.
Clocking in at 3:25 we have the behemoth like “Broken Karma”. Using the kick drum to sound as if it’s the Universe knocking on the door of your destiny, Worth demonstrates his adept ability and knowledge of outboard effects on this recording.
“HeartCenter” (3:29) employs Indonesian gamelan (a form of music that originated on the islands of Bali and Java and utilizes tuned percussion instruments like drums, gongs and metallophones) sounding waveforms. It’s an extremely eerie, exotic piece of music.
Negrodomus is the featured vocalist on “All That Is” (2:44). Graced with simple, yet beautiful lyrics such as, “Yo, it’s out with the old/And in with the news/Once you find your role/You start paying your dues”, this trip-hop offering is a rare gem.
“Create It” (2:16) is a short sonic sketch that revisits some of the gamelan like ideas Worth explored on the aforementioned 6th cut of “13Love”. Meditative and pensive it’s music to move the mind.
In the EDM vein the Utah DJ shares “Healing the World” (2:17). Once more the soulful samples like the ones used on “Free the Slaves” provide bluesy hues from a plaintive palette for this young composer to paint upon his digital canvas.
Taking sampled and repeated vocal vamps, “My Love” (2:59), Worth knits a sensuously sewn patchwork of sounds. It’s without question the track from the album where when you want to turn the lights down low and get it on with that sexy someone special; you’d want playing in the background.
“Merkabah” (2:40) floats like a feather on the layered jazz-hop pads and percussion pockets this UT music programmer has put together. The abrupt interrupted ending gave me that feeling you sometimes get when you’re suddenly awoken out of a relaxing dream state. Do you know what I mean?
“Sirius C (Dark Matter Womb) (featuring Bob Bloomer)” (3:39) is straight ahead RPM. Cleverly mixed post-dubstep house music that rives and throbs in a serpentine manner makes it one of the many stellar standouts on the record.
Wrapping it up with funky title track “13Love” (3:32) is a good example of saving the best for last. With a (Bernard) Purdie-Shuffle sounding drum track for a foundation, Worth builds world music samples of silken plucked Asian stringed instruments (such as the 7 stringed Guqin like zither or lutes like a Pipa or the Sanxian) upon one another. The overall effect makes you feel like you’re chillaxing in a smoke filled opium den in the Far East.
You’ve probably noticed that I’ve included the run time for each track on “13Love” (released on the Makemind Entertainment label, and distributed by KES Music & Video Distribution, with promotion & marketing by National Marketing Advertising & Promotions/Chicago IL). I did this in order to highlight that unlike most of the electronic musicians in the market who usually release extended, and many times, overly long mixes of their music; Worth seems to be going more for brief sonic snapshots. That in itself is refreshing. It also encourages the listener to want to repeatedly play the entire work from beginning to end. I know I certainly have, and I’d wager that you will too.
R.I.Y.L..: Skrillex, James Blake, Fatboy Slim, Crystal Method