- A slick update of the heads-down UK garage sound.
- The heads-down UK garage sound, most closely associated with producers like El-B and Horsepower Productions, is enjoying a modest renaissance. Stenny, Floating Points, SP:MC and Al Wootton have all produced rock-solid darkside steppers this year, and Walton's latest EP offers another, appropriately called "Rolla." This one has the knives-sharpening percussion and 4K sound decor—Casio-watch bleeps, door creaks, even birdsong—that make it distinct from the old stuff.
In "Rolla"'s breakdown and on the other tracks ("Depth Charge" and the frosty Vangelis haze of "Before The Storm"), Walton also echoes the grime-techno hybrids of Different Circles. For the most part, this enhances the EP. "Depth Charge," with its electrical-surge leads and pump-action drums, is the sort of bomb that would empty the smoking area. I was less keen, though, on "Rolla"'s pad breakdown, whose epic posture feels out of place, perhaps more at home amid the minimal panoramas heard in Logos's recent LP.
A1 Before The Storm
B1 Depth Charge