(12″ • Tectonic • 2015)
I first came across Manchester’s Walton when I heard his absolutely essential remix of Wen’s ‘Play Your Corner’. He has (so far) released mainly for respected UK bass label Hyperdub, impressing many with his classic-sounding yet fresh take on a variety of bass styles.
Here we review his one release for dubstep label Tectonic, 2015’s ‘Bulldoze EP’, drawing inspiration from grime, dubstep, techno, house, hip hop, and further afield…
First up is an insistent yet unhurried piece of heaviness. There’s not too much variation patternwise here, but ‘Wrench’ succeeds in whetting the appetite for more of Walton’s work. Repetitious percussion underpins stripped down classic grime throughout, with effective use of menacingly cold synth washes, and understatedly phat bass.
‘Flute Riddim’ begins with a deceptively loose-sounding poly-rhythmic percussion roll, gradually bedding down into a tuff, no-frills, grime track of the best kind. Confident in his rolling beats, Walton concentrates on the hypnotically roomy reverberance, the downcast (somehow menacingly so) one-two-three synth stabs accompanying the eponymous flute and fairly muted, yet solid, bass.
The EP’s title track is a minimal four-to-the-floor bleep and bass grime fest which – overused splinters of a few pirate MC samples aside – is certain to shake yer booty on the dance floor. Moving effortlessly as it does from sparse grime into full-on 4/4 banger, I feel this tune would benefit from an instrumental version being made available.
The final track, ‘L.E.A.N.’, is the closest thing this EP gets to a ‘money-in-the-bank / all-my-hoes-got-gats’ kind of tune. It’s days-of-yore-UK-scene as fuck (check that spooky crystalline synth run!) but – managing to stay on just the right side of the line to remain credible – rounds this release off to a satisfying conclusion.