The summer saw the release of two new Whethan singles – the summer-tinged, made for twilight evenings under the stars, “Good Nights” and “Sleepy Eyes.” Ethan Snoreck, the teenage wunderkind behind the Whethan moniker, grew a rabid fanbase on Soundcloud and fanfare from industry giants like Skrillex and Flux Pavillion for releasing soaring, sonic triumphs of the future-bass variety. So, it was an unexpected yet welcomed surprise when “Good Nights” and “Sleepy Eyes” graced our ears with its tropical flourishes of production, lending themselves more to bonfires and starlight-lit parties than the underground clubs and music venues where future-bass has traditionally flourished. And proving himself as an artist full of surprises, Whethan is back yet again with a new and soon-to-be much-applauded sound on “Aftertaste.”
From the very outset of “Aftertaste,” it is clear that this is a Whethan we have not yet heard before. The sparse, lone electric guitar creates a grand sense of atmosphere and waiting not found on Whethan’s previous releases, or on most electronic tracks for that matter. This at first seemingly simple element of “Aftertaste” becomes its cornerstone, establishing greater layers of depth from both its careful implementation and removal. Serving as the perfect fit for Whethan’s newfound sensual instrumentation is Opia, whose airy and emotive vocal stylings compliment the production to a phenomenal degree. While certain elements of “Aftertaste” feel like yet another departure for Whethan, the track soon opens itself up to reveal that it is so much more.
Musically, “Aftertaste” feels more like a musical culmination for Whethan than a departure. The sparse instrumentation and longing vocals are soon joined by a swelling burst of futuristic production as Opia’s vocals grow in energy, elevating the song to suddenly great heights. “Aftertaste” brilliantly shifts between these two worlds, blending the two until they’re no longer their own discrete entities, until “Aftertaste” is something entirely new in and of itself. It’s part sensual exploration of the power of minimalistic production and part familiar return to Whethan’s penchant for and expertise of grand bass-heavy production. “Aftertaste” proves Whethan is an artist of not one or two hats but many, whether that be crafting music for festival stages, underground clubs and music venues, starlight-lit bonfires, or now, music for night-life illuminated city streets and all that goes on underneath those lights.