words: REISA SHANAMAN
Known to most as Worthy, a well-deserved alias, the Anabatic label boss and dirtybird bulwark born Sean Worthington Williams is back this month with Disbehave, a full-length offering on his own imprint. Two years in the making, the LP shows an impressive range while remaining true to the “Worthy sound,” brimming with the bone-shaking bass one expects from the big gun of all things booty.
Raised in Washington, DC, Williams played guitar and bass in punk bands throughout high school, as well as in the school band. His early training, which consisted of formal lessons on both instruments and time spent writing music with friends on his four track, provided him the foundation needed to make it as an electronic producer of the highest order. His music gives a gracious nod to classic house and garage, infiltrated with his own love for low-end.
After sharing “Burned” with some friends, Worthy was told it would make for a great album track, so from there he set out to produce one. Of the process, he tells us, “It took a bit longer than I initially anticipated, but I just wanted to make something special. So I hid out in my cave searching for inspiration and allowing for it to be an organic process. I just wrote and wrote until it felt perfectly complete.”
In terms of his approach to producing the album's tracks, Worthy says, “When I was writing EPs before the album, I was more in the headspace that I needed to create some crazy song that people would go wild for on the dancefloor. I was always trying to create banging tracks for the club. When I started working on the album, I just went in with an open mind, trying to create pieces of music that were intricate and expressive. I was not focused on if it would be good for the club, but rather, I was more set on creating a sound that would be good to listen to at home or in a chilled environment. I wanted to take [the listener] somewhere new, and keep [their] ears and mind surprised. It was a bit of a musical puzzle that at times stumped me, but I thoroughly enjoyed the process. [I] felt a sense of deep contentment upon completion that was extremely gratifying.”
Although he was originally shopping the album around, and had a couple bigger labels interested in it, he decided to release it on his own Anabatic imprint in order to keep to the schedule he wanted, feeling it really has a summer vibe to it “perfect for listening to at your camp at a festival.” Dedicated to his baby girl Luna, who came along during the recording of the album, the track “Luna” holds extra special meaning to him.
Over all, Worthy's intention for Disbehave was to capture “the feeling that I would get when I first got into electronic music in the '90s, and the goose bumps that I would get from [the music]. I wanted to create moving songs in the album, to hopefully invoke a similar feeling in new listeners, and to perk up nostalgia in others. Music is supposed to make you feel, and with this album, I wanted to push myself to create different feelings throughout it, and to transform how people listen to my music.”
Staying true to this motive, Disbehave sees him go in a number of different directions, from deep house to breakbeats to downtempo to future bass and back again. It recalls a not-so-distant past in which the product was more important than the sum of its parts, and qualifying everything with a distinct genre mattered less than merely being moved by the music. It's a wonderful piece of work that proves Worthy is a producer not to be pigeonholed.