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Switch @ Will
by Wild Billi

by Whit Frazier

Switch @ Will is just being published now, in 2023, but being Wild Billie’s little brother, I literally grew up with this album. As you might hear from the sound and the aesthetic, there is something of a 90s blend of rock, pop, hip-hip and soul going on in the fourteen tracks that make up this record. The way it is presented here is the way I more or less remember it – the order of the songs and everything – one important difference being that I have used remastered versions done by AJ Halpern at Voodoo Shack studios, so much love to AJ for the fine work he has done here.

The iconic song that gives the album its name is ahead of its time in many ways, and so serves as a good description for the album in general – the fluid manner in which the album moves through musical genres, anticipates future cultural and musical developments, goes back into the past and conjures musical traditions from around the country and around the world, and then wends its way back into the nineteen nineties and transforms that nineties sound for the two thousand twenties.

On a personal note, I should add that the album starts and ends with “Switch @ Will,” and the garage version of “Switch” that ends the album is the version I grew up with – the one I took with me to college and had the whole hallway grooving to – a kind of nostalgia compels me to include it – so the bookending of the song on the album can be considered my personal flourish.

As to the songs that make up this incredibly strange and beautiful album, instead of going through the album song by song, I will say that thematically, they make up a surrealist phantasmagorical journey through the individual and collective conscious, subconscious, and unconscious of human relationships with clever and startling lyrics that rewrite themselves at every turn:

My December is
Like Winter Down South
In Antarctica

Propelled by “Switch @ Will,” the songs switch at will between genders, emotional registers, musical styles and thematic concerns. “Beautiful,” “Just to be” and “Love Song” make a trilogy of love songs that challenge gender norms; “Enebriation,” “Feelin’ Fulla Love” and “Deviate Sex Mind” take the listener into the psychedelic realms of intoxication, through substances and through sex. One song which really belongs on the album, but which I couldn’t include because of sampling copyright issues was “Lager to the Head.” It is also a surrealist, psychedelic exploration of the subconscious, and it really is too bad that I had to leave it out, because it is astounding. As is, its ghost will have to haunt this album in its absence, which in its way is also appropriate (those who are really curious can write to Multicanon, and I’ll send you a copy).

The album moves on to another trilogy of love songs: “Soul Assassin” leads to the surrealist funk of “Unbounded,” and then onto “Secret Lovers,” which is a gender-bending mindtrip which completes the thematic journey of this amazing album. The “Soul Assassin” remix and the “Queen Bitch” segue that come afterward hint at some of the stuff that is still forthcoming from Wild Billi. The segue, in this sense, really is a segue into the future.

All compositions and arrangements by Wild Billi; all instruments played and/or programmed by Wild Billi. All songs mastered by AJ Halpern and Paul Tewksbury of Monomental Musics at Voodoo Shack studio, except "Switch @ Will - Garage Mix".

Now Available!

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