Death.wav is a 20-year-old rapper, singer, engineer and producer from the Massachusetts area. His latest single, “Under The Pale Moonlight Butterfly”, delivers on every promise his talent has ever hinted at. Here the quality of his bars is just as important as the alternative and experimental innovation he brings to the table. He uses the spacious expanses of the production to assert himself as a masterful emcee and storyteller, in a way he’s never done before. The song features a balanced juxtaposition of core rap essentials and boundary-pushing artistry.
Death.wav mixes an eclectic blend samples, loops and effects, on top of a boom-bap styled driven beat, churning out a grungy and glitchy sonic aesthetic. On top, he drops in an ominous vocal tone and a thick dose of dreamy mystery. Death.wav has about ten times as many ideas crammed into “Under The Pale Moonlight Butterfly” as most hip-hop records doing the rounds right now. There is such a mercurial sensibility to his productions that it’s a miracle they don’t collapse under the weight of his ideas.
Instead of striving for raw aggression, Death.wav focuses on motivational-styled talk. The effect is engaging and a celebration of the artist’s innate ability at crafting rhythmic experiments and dark, emotive narratives. His intricate hip-hop beat construction should also earn him significant recognition among the electronic music creators’ community. Death.wav takes bold sonic steps, emanating poetic flamboyance without becoming confusing, and with enough emotion and kinetic verve to satisfy even the most passive ear.
Death.wav’s real strengths are his unique flow, and his ability to string together words that sound poetic and great combined, yet never become too cryptic. He puts together many of the hallmarks of his craft to make “Under The Pale Moonlight Butterfly” one of his most unique works yet. Simultaneously, he gets his point across in a way that is intense and clear. And while there are a few verses on this track that would take a while to explicate instantly, he does a great job of coming off forthright.
While his contemporaries are fighting over who will claim the throne, or who is in control, Death.wav has his own unique perspective on the game. Insanely ambitious musically, literate and surreal, he is running rap’s idiosyncrasies through the grinder. Sonically, “Under The Pale Moonlight Butterfly” is impressive and innovative in its design, and efficient and detailed in its execution. Demonstrating that Death.wav has some serious chops and a vast arsenal.
Death.wav has once again crafted a fantastically immersive listening experience (arguably his finest work yet), which is then enhanced by how profoundly it telegraphs its own ambitions and intentions, while still being able to meet the listener’s expectations. I think anyone interested in hip-hop that is peculiar, technical, challenging, and overtly alternative should check this out.
If “Under The Pale Moonlight Butterfly” pushes Death.wav’s artistic trajectory forward, it does so through both the production and his distinctive delivery. From here on, Death.wav can only look ahead. He is expected to be an integral part of the alternative rap game for years to come.