Wen – ‘Play Your Corner (Remixes)’ (2015)

Wen feat. Riko Dan - 'Play Your Corner (Remixes)' (2015)(12″ • Keysound Recordings • 2015)

UK dubstep artist Wen has released music for respected labels including Dusk and Blackdown’s Keysound Recordings, Facta and K-Lone’s Wisdom Teeth, Tempa, and Tectonic over the past few years. ‘Play Your Corner (Remixes)’ sees the reimagining of the EP’s title track (from Wen’s 2014 ‘Signals’ album), featuring the verbal skills of Riko Dan.

The A-side is a remix by Manchester’s Walton (previously released by stalwarts Hyperdub and Tectonic), and it’s been on seriously heavy rotation at Bad Sekta HQ since we first came across it. The vocals are pitched just the right amount, complementing the menacing tone and harder distortion of this absolutely wicked tune. Glowering sub pressure frames things nicely, while the 4/4 kick ensures this mix is an utter banger, all mechanised ruffige and half step assault.

On the flip, frequent collaborators Kahn and Neek (Bandulu, Deep Medi Musik, Hotline, Punch Drunk) offer a much straighter take on Wen’s original, sticking closely to the usual UK grime MC sound with a measured half-time groove and snarling bass. With sweetly frayed melodies to contrast those grime strings, this mix is a pleasant listen, yet (for me) is vastly overshadowed by Walton’s version.