WaltonBeyond

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Sam Walton is a 22 year old producer from Manchester who came to Hyperdub after feeding them demo tracks, and started off in 2011 with the ‘Walton EP’, the first of three EPs for the label. Since then he’s honed and developed his music into ‘Beyond’, finding a really fresh and subtle intersection between music that doesn’t seem to naturally fit together, old eski grime, funky and Detroit house and techno but with smudged edges and a colourful industrial sound palette that gives a real richness to his productions. Walton’s music is never sombre or angry, but is about subtle combinations; there is an appealing, soulful sensuality to his beautifully crafted and joyous music. He says of the album “I just wanted there to be a contrast between bright and dark, I didn’t want to stick to a specific genre either. Just a vibe.” Walton’s young enough to hear older elements of dance music with fresh ears – a recent Hacienda reunion was an ear opener, hearing the stripped back power of acid house for the first time influenced some of the music on ‘Beyond’, in the way that a handful of contrasting elements can be placed together to create an exciting whole. Tracks like ‘Need To Feel’ find this idea in action, this catholic but balanced take on production working in effect, with funky basslines, garage woodblocks and ambient atmospherics. On ‘Can’t You See’, grimey kicks and claps are pitched against swooning, trancey strings, and ‘Every Night’s tough grimey synth horns work in tune with echoed guitar licks and pumping kicks. Or check the way the clanking metallic drums and 3D atmosphere of ‘You And Me’ contrast with warped diva giggles. By contrast, a tune like ‘Memories’ will wrongfoot you with a long, detailed intro before breaking into a track that cuts between old school grime and bitter sweet house stabs, as will ‘Grit’s whipping snares, strange rotating bleeps and snaking bassline. ‘Frisbee’ again works with a grime pallette, a sparse, inventive soundscape of huge car door slams, weird squeaks and crackles, and a four note melody, while ‘City Of God’s reverb laden, depressed beatlessness evokes a feel somewhere between grime and dubstep. Alternately recalling familiar dance music but created with freshness and enthusiasm, Walton’s vision is a welcome and highly enjoyable mutation.

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HDBCD017

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Vinile - CD