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Boomkat Product Review:
Another pioneer of UK Grime's recent renaissance, Wen is set to floor all-comers with this stunning debut album for Keysound. Since introducing himself on a split with Epoch and 12" for Badimup in 2012/early 2013, he's coined a striking new sound, rending classic UK dance templates with up-to-the-second sound design and uncanny feel for that late night urban atmosphere best defined by Burial. His edit of early Dizzee Rascal joint 'Strings Ho' which emerged in mid 2013 marked a turning point for this sound where the tempos became slower, the production more elastic, sculpted, and the arrangements tighter, fluidly complex. In that sense he shares much in common with the new skool of Visionist, Logos, Beneath or Mumdance, but is essentially a single-minded producer on a mission to reconnect with that slinky, intoxicating UK darkness extant since No U-Turn, Prototype and Metalheadz in the mid-'90s, thru the sounds of Ghost Recordings, Hyperdub and Keysound in the proceeding 20 years. This, the expanded digital/CD edition features twelve cuts structuring a whole nocturnal ecology of bassbin pressure shot thru with exotic but hyper-local references and the kind of spatialised mixing trickery more associated with cinema and computer games, combining original vocal performances such as Riko's on 'Play Your Corner' with his razor sharp cut-up methods on the gully 'Signals', and exhibiting equal aptitude with quicksilver 2-step on 'Swingin' (LDN Mix)' as modernist tech-step in 'Lunar' with Blackdown, or electroid grime waveforms in 'Nightcrawler (Devil's Mix)'. It's a stunning album, completely unmissable to any followers of upfront UK dance music and far, far beyond.