Walton
Beyond


4.0
excellent

Review

by Will Robinson STAFF
August 21st, 2013 | 19 replies


Release Date: 07/01/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hyperdub strikes gold yet again. Is anyone surprised?

Walton's Beyond is the garage album of the year so far. Screw Disclosure - their pop-focused shuffling garage and house beats have nothing on Beyond, no matter how good of a link between the underground and the mainstream Settle was. Screw Phaeleh - his hypothermia-inducing strings can't touch Walton, no matter how beautifully frigid they were on Tides. These aren't criticisms of the latter two albums, as both are solid albums in their own rights and probably could have been on the fast track towards duking it out for the aforementioned title. It's just that Beyond encapsulates the grimy, mechanical sound of the ever-elusive spirit of the genre so well that it stands head and shoulders above the other two.

The term "garage" is about how far the similarities between these three albums extend. If Settle was the sound of a festival as the sun finally sank below the horizon and the high-powered candy-colored lights turned on, and Tides was the sound of that festival twelve hours later as the first rays of sunlight poked through, Beyond falls somewhere around 4 AM, most likely in the middle of a marathon set. It's impressive in its austerity: the LP's backbone primarily consists of clickety-clackety percussion, functional bass, and the omnipresent buzz of static. The looped vocal samples play with this idea beautifully, as first post-intro track "Need To Feel" jumps abruptly from jazzy piano chords to a killer bassline while the vocals play blithely on.

It's this kind of subtle transition away from subtlety which makes Beyond such an alluring listen: the 22-year-old shows such a captivating command of emotions with noises as sparse as the ones he uses that it's difficult to believe he's only been on the scene for a few years. The ravey "Every Night" samples ideas from a classic house song, but Walton weaves these ideas into a distinctly modern take thanks to the song's ultra-precise toms and shaker. The transition between the silky-smooth piece and the follow-up, the ecstasy-dripping "Memories," is another example of the kind of mastery apparent throughout the album - again, as he did in "Need To Feel," Walton slips easily from classically-styled garage to a sleeker, more urbane dance and back.

From the darkly insisting "Help Me Out" to the grittiness of, well, "Grit," Beyond is a example of what happens when an artist totally confident in his sound and passionate about continually pushing to new heights gets the chance to make a full album to further his sound. Though it lacks the sonic depth, experimentation, and organic feel of some genre counterpoints, the album is nothing short of impressive, and easily the best garage album of the year. Time will tell what the next step for young Sam Walton is, but for now basking in the glory of an impressive debut LP isn't such a bad idea.



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user ratings (7)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Brostep
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2013


3486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Originally posted at www.muzikdizcovery.com

Back to reviewing! Thanks a shit-ton to TMobotron for looking this over and ensuring I didn't say anything too stupid, and if you even have a passing interest in electronic music this LP is a must.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2013


11346 Comments


Great review dude. Not normally into electronic stuff though.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2013


3486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Big ups to the mod who got the artwork through

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2013


6269 Comments


The cover concept is fantastic.

Digging: Varathron - Untrodden Corridors of Hades

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2013


3486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I absolutely love it, and it fits the album really well too

slep
August 21st 2013


1604 Comments


Very solid review. At first I thought you might have been comparing this too heavily to Disclosure and Phaeleh, but you distanced yourself from that fairly well.

Might check this out. Been listening to things at a slower pace fairly recently so I'll see if I get around to it. Could use some good electronic shiz.

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
August 21st 2013


7145 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice, yeah anyone with even a passing interest should check this out. Amazon might be my fav dance track this year.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2013


31475 Comments


Good review, but for me E.M.M.A. and Sorrow hold the title for garage release of the year

Digging: Hyperdub - Hyperdub 10.4

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
August 22nd 2013


7145 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Idk how I've put off listening to that sorrow album for so long

PunchforPunch
August 22nd 2013


6280 Comments


woop gotta check

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2013


6269 Comments


Samples from the album can be heard here:

http://www.hyperdub.net/releases/view/232/HDBCD017

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2013


3486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been meaning to check out that E.M.M.A. album for some time (actually got numerous emails about it from my other blog), but I never really got into Dreamstone - don't really know why, but it's just really hard to listen to straight through

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2013


10354 Comments


Very nice work.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2013


3486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Jacob, means a lot

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
August 26th 2013


6504 Comments


Killer album.

Dunno how I missed this review. Nice work as ever!

Digging: Recondite - Iffy

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
August 26th 2013


3486 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Figured you'd like it, it is indeed excellent. Now to check out that Forest Swords album

Typhoner
August 26th 2013


891 Comments


Good review!

And right, read about E.M.M.A. and then forgot about it again, so I'll go after that one, and this of course. (if I find the time)

Digging: ENA - Binaural

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
August 27th 2013


6504 Comments


Now to check out that Forest Swords album

Indeed! :] Although it's completely different than this.

Arucard
June 2nd 2014


576 Comments


Sweet album. Sputnik is the go to place when I need some new tunes!



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