The long-awaiting arrival of “Testify,” the exhilarating debut single from Philly-based global groove collective Worldtown SoundSystem, is just one of the myriad ways the dozen-piece band is kicking off November with a sonic boom. The infectious house jam, which captures the organic fusion of hypnotic tribal rhythms, enchanting vocals and jazz-jolted hornplay that has helped propel Worldtown to the local-scene forefront, will be available Tuesday, Nov. 3 on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify and all major online retail music stores. “Testify’s” vibrant accompanying video debuts the same day on YouTube and at world.town.
Also on Tuesday, Worldtown SoundSystem will add its name to the impressive roster of on-the-rise artists recorded live as part of WXPN-FM 88.5’s “The Key Studio Sessions.” Expect their 20-minute medley set, which begins at 9pm and will also be streamed on The Key’s website, to – like their other show-stopping performances – leave audiences enthralled.
Producer and chief conductor DJ Ben Arsenal and his pal DJ Oluwafemi are the two-pronged founding head of the friendly, frenetic beast that is the four-year-old Worldtown SoundSystem, aided and abetted by a gaggle of musical spellweavers that includes singers Jonifin Marvin, Zeek Burse and Fawziyya Heart, bassist Jay Powerz, saxman Dan “The Basskitty” Keller and drummer Gary Dann – whose studio sanctuary, The Boom Room, serves as their creative hub.
“Testify,” the first single from their pending EP Welcome to Worldtown which Indie-Life recorded, mixed and produced, soars to its highest heights on the wings of Burse’s vocals, his soulful strains punctuating throbbing house beats and electronic bursts with sultry urgency and power. “Out of all the songs in our set, this one is by far my favorite to play to live,” says Keller, whose jazzy sax alternates between soothing spurts and melodic runs flitting between Burse’s limber yearnings. “The space for melody just seems so big and open. We also do this fun thing where Zeek, Fawziyya and I take turns riffing over the jam at the end, and it escalates higher and higher. [It’s] so much fun, feels great and definitely hypes the crowd.”
Pleasing crowds is what Worldtown SoundSystem does best, exemplified not only in the “Testify” video, but also in the promo video for their track “The Boutique,” a virtual love letter to the city they call home, shot everywhere from North Philly to the Italian Market, in Center City and Chinatown, in which the harnessed energy of passersby erupts into a fun, funky pop-up dancefest.
And the Worldtown party is just getting started.