UK producer Walton's debut EP on Hyperdub last year was a fun if not terribly distinctive EP of rambunctious bass music landing somewhere on the spectrum between grime and UK funky. Percussive and synth-heavy, it was also resolutely greyscale even at its most melodic. So when I put on his second release, and was greeted by elegant string stabs and breathy vocals, I was a little bit shocked. And then I started smiling. "All Nite" starts out with a minute of supple funk before descending into a hectic section of squashed percussion and ricocheting 8-bit synths, like a discombobulated Butterz tune let loose to bounce around the room. It occasionally coheres back into those collected sections, the ultimate pull-back-and-release that feels not only controlled but more confident than the comparatively rote exercises on his debut.
The aptly named "Mallet" features a whole lot of mallets, navigating the distinctive sound around a jittery skip in the vein of fellow Hyperdub signees Funkystepz. Walton carries that group's similar preoccupation with roughly-hewn grime elements but polishes them up in bright colours and brighter melodies. "Kush" rounds off the EP with a two-minute exercise in hypnagogic daydream territory, a nice but slightly pointless diversion from the convoluted but captivating trickery that defines the other two tracks.
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Tracklist: Walton - All Night A All Night