Seattle DJ/Beatmaker WD4D's Mass Production Pays Off
Lo-Fi Performance Gallery
Tues at 9 pm.
WD4D (aka Seattle denizen Waylon Dungan) possesses a musical moniker that could be straight out of the IRS or an auto-shop inventory list—while looking like the guy who does your taxes or checks your oil. But in actuality, he takes an accountant's obsessive attention to detail and applies it to producing and DJing. His staunch work ethic has led to WD4D building a formidable discography and a hectic slate of radio, club, and studio gigs. Most recently, this columnist was surprised—but really shouldn't have been—to see WD superbly manning the decks for Gabriel Teodros during the local MC's set opening for K'naan before a packed Neumos.
Such a high-profile showcase is deserved. WD has been making tracks and spinning wax for over 12 years, and the roll call of artists with whom he's shared stages includes GZA, KRS-One, the Coup, Bus Driver, and Oh No, as well as 206 luminaries like Blue Scholars and Common Market. In addition, WD has laced tracks for Awol and Existereo of the Shape Shifters, Xololanxinxo, Bukue One, and many others. On top of this, WD hosts KBCS's Saturday night (10 pm–midnight, 91.3 FM) Zulu Radio program with Sean Malik and Zulu King Khazm. Finally, WD4D's cherubic visage can also be spotted in deep concentration behind the decks on Fridays at Grey Gallery & Lounge with DJ Vital (for a night called Grey Area); WD's also in the jock rotation with SunTzu Sound's DJs for that same bar's soul/jazz-oriented Blueprint on Thursdays. And his agenda includes a residency at Lo-Fi Performance Gallery's Tuesday night hiphop hoedown Stop Biting.
WD4D's 2005 debut album, Some Assembly Required, reveals his left-field sensibilities. While the disc boasts plenty of cuts with tight underground rappers on them (see the above-mentioned artists), WD's sampledelic music distinguishes itself as a fresh, skewed blend of funk and jazz. You can nod your head to these jams, but you'll probably need a chiropractor later. "Walking Time Bombs" is a great case in point. Behind Maleko's quirky, Slick Rick–like delivery, WD drops unpredictable, staccato blaps while filling the stereo field with flaring, Qbert-esque scratches and bizarre loops of a female voice smeared into an alien mating call.
WD has been productive since then, broadening his sonic palette and getting more bold with his beats and melodies as he readies his next all-instrumental full-length, with a digital-only EP expected to see daylight even sooner. Monitor www.myspace.com/wd4d for further developments—and check out several WD4D free mixtapes while you're there.