Due to be released on the 17th March, all signs seem to point to Wen’s debut LP on Keysound recordings continuing on in the same vein as his previous efforts.
The title hints towards possible contents. Could the ‘-crawler’ be an allusion to Terror Danjah? And will it indeed just be a devils mix of the track ‘Nightcrawler’, released February of last year in his Commotion EP?
The answer to both of those questions is a resounding: ‘eh… not really’. Granted, it is a refix of his previous track, but rather being a devils mix in the traditional sense in that all drums have been stripped away to leaving a bare, seething bass mix the track seems to have been beefed up a bit/ reworked and had vocals added.
Keeping the same textures as the original, the track is more of a slow, weighty soundscape than a grime track which, to be fair, at 130bpm is not exactly what it’s trying to be. Samples from Wiley, Skepta, Ghetts and somehow even Nelly Furtado echo menacingly across swaggering wobble bass sounds and lurching synths, the voice of the latter R’n’B singer being chopped and repitched in a manner reminiscent of Purity Ring.
While overall the track has a powerful ambience and is exemplary of Wen’s uneasy, haunted production style you can’t help but hope his album has some variation from the formula of bass heavy dubstep sonic collages with disembodied grime vocals for an edgy flavour, as it’s beginning to tire.
– Bertie Jennings