Willaris. K - Alchemy - Cover Art


For reasons that stretch back over a century, Australia’s six states and two territories each operate on a different electricity grid.

For several years after finishing school, Jack McAllister – who makes music under the name Willaris. K – was responsible for monitoring the power conversion at substations along the New South Wales and Queensland border. It was on these daily solo expeditions through serene bush and swampy marshland that McAllister developed the unique sonic palette that we know as trademark Willaris. K.

Warping ambient field recordings into textured beats, the clarity of space and time to forge inventive melodies, the stimulation of the natural environment thrust into heaving electronica. The swamp, the serenity. Pine-scented, dirt-speckled.

The legendary Pete Tong of BBC Radio 1 singled out Willaris. K as the next artist to watch from Australia, saying, “He has already got something that is really hard to attain. If I listen to an hour of music that was kind of similar to his melodic techno, when his track came on, I would know it was his.” Similarly, triple j have backed McAllister in Australia, heralding him as one of their 10 Unearthed artists to watch in 2018.

For the itinerant Willaris. K, it’s all about movement and emotion. Jon Hopkins’ hard-hitting ‘Open Eye Signal’ melting into Nils Frahm’s mercurial ‘Them’. Being sent adrift by Bonobo’s uplifting ‘Second Sun’ only to be capsized by Patrice Baumel’s angular ‘Surge’.

In just over a year, the 24-year-old beatmaker has cemented his place as one of Australia’s best new electronic talents. His music blends ambience and melody with heaving, nocturnal beats. It’s dark and cathartic in equal measure.

First came ‘Alchemy’, the debut single that saw Willaris. K break through with airplay on triple j and Sydney’s FBi Radio. Before 2017 was through he delivered two more tracks – ‘River Song’ and ‘Dour Nights’, which BBC Radio 1’s Pete Tong named his Essential New Tune – as well as turning in a remix for Exhibitionist.

Across the span of those 3 tracks – which were accompanied by an arresting 12 minute video trilogy – McAllister played an unrivalled number of festival shows in Australia and New Zealand. In 12 months, the brand new artist graced festival audiences with over 25 live sets brimming with his trademark punk-influenced stage presence, all capped off with his international debut at Coachella this April.

Now, Willaris. K is back with Alchemy, a full 7-track EP that moves between thick industrial techno and sparse pensive melodic moments. The Alchemy EP features his previous singles as well as four new tracks, which together explore themes of transience, movement, darkness and currents.

They all capture the period of time where McAllister went from being an electrical instrument technician working the state border substations by day and bedroom producer by night to a full-time musician, songwriter and producer. In that process, the piano-trained artist grappled with the frustration, self-doubt, introspection and triumph that comes with change. Alchemy was written over a period of almost two years spent creeping in and out of underground raves, digging up and twisting old samples, or recording the bones of songs as iPhone voice memos and then building them out.

“The tracks are a reflection of my life at that time,” he says. “It was a big transition period for my mindset, going from music being a fun hobby with no pressure, to self doubt, to finally backing myself. Eventually, I let go of the expectations I’d put upon myself and realised I can make whatever I want, because that’s where the most interesting ideas came from.”

Many of the tracks on the EP were built with his live shows in mind, which makes sense given Willaris. K was born when Jack started making edits to play in his DJ sets.

But the overarching vision for Willaris. K’s music has always been simple: “It has to make me feel something on an extreme scale.”

The Alchemy EP follows a whirlwind 2017 that saw Willaris. K sign with tastemaker label Soothsayer and international talent agency WME, as well as stepping up for sets around Australia and New Zealand with America and Europe firmly in his sights.

Hot off the back of the release of his sold out debut headline tour, Willaris. K announced his national Alchemy EP headline tour. Stopping in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane, the Northern NSW Coast producer steps into local institutions including the Corner Hotel, Metro Theatre, Fat Controller and The Triffid this September and October.



Sat 29 Sept | Jack Rabbit Slim’s | Perth, WA | Tickets available here
Fri 5 Oct | Corner Hotel | Melbourne, VIC | Tickets available here
Sat 6 Oct | Metro Theatre | Sydney, NSW | Tickets available here
Fri 12 Oct | Fat Controller | Adelaide, SA | Tickets available here
Sat 13 Oct | The Triffid | Brisbane, QLD | Tickets available here

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