Unlike most projects released on Halloween, World Wide Web is no hastily assembled covers set or kitschy holiday novelty. Rather, it’s the much anticipated new EP from hip-hop duo Louie Duffelbags and Boothlord, a.k.a. Danger Incorporated. And while fans have been clamoring for a new record ever since the group shared the moody, spectral “Three Years” back in July, the pair have proven themselves to be patient craftsmen, determined to do things their own way, and in their own time.
Oddly enough, however, the single that first initiated the buzz for the new record doesn’t appear on the EP. Instead we’re provided with five new tracks that introduce a more effusive and celebratory vibe while maintaining the hazy, narcotic ambience the group has been lauded for.
“Offline” kicks things off in triumphant fashion with an ecstatic beat that draws as much from ’90s pop and electro funk as it does from contemporary hip-hop. The processed vocals help immerse the track in a kind of otherworldly exoskeleton, but the emphatic hooks still ring out loud and clear. By comparison, “Atlanta Neighborhood” feels distinctly of the moment — a fiery future-trap affair that manages to sound playful and grimy at the same time. Like most of the duo’s best work it is cohesive and accessible while still offering the dramatic gestures and left-field turns that keep listeners on edge.
Danger Incorporated’s most formidable asset has always been their ability to balance Louie Duffelbags’ ethereal R&B stylings with Boothlord’s gauzy trap flows. Listen to almost any track on World Wide Web and you’ll find it brimming with romantic overtures that are countered by bars about — what else — smoking up, rolling out, stepping to your haters. It’s a compelling dichotomy that works in part because despite their divergent approaches the pair remain locked into a singular vision. Except for the aforementioned “Atlanta Neighborhood,” there’s nothing that resembles a banger on the EP. The tracks, especially impressionistic cuts like “Body” and “World Wide Web,” are too mercurial and elastic — they’re compact in length, but spacious in their breadth. The fact of the matter is these aren’t songs built for turning up in the club, they’re nebulous soundscapes constructed for the after party when the night blurs and memory fades into oblivion.