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wen-signals 2lp (keysound)

Price: $23.99


wen: signals

Meet Wen, the 22 year-old production prodigy with his own bass-heavy sound built on a pulsing rhythmic backbone, a nuanced sense of environmental texture, and coded vocal samples that interject like pulses. You could call the latter "signals." The album begins by building a space, setting the mood; settling into the kind of textures and temperament not often heard since the very earliest era of dubstep -- long before Wen's time. "Galactic," resurrected from a corrupted Fruity Loops file on a lost hard drive, is ethereal Blade Runner grime. "Lunar," which features Keysound label boss Blackdown, is a Detroit-style night drive through Babylon. Like a breaking storm, the album builds in power and intensity. At almost exactly the mid-point -- during the bouncy but otherwise warm 4x4 garage relick of "Swingin'" -- the calm is punctured. Often sampled from dense London slang and live pirate radio, these are Wen's heavy signals; weighed down with coded nuance. Power, locale, identity, intent, inequality, sexuality, gender, diversity, energy: all are regular themes of these encoded pirate transmissions. "Vampin'" leads you into a hot afterhours club scene full of complex, interpersonal power dynamics of those living for the weekend.

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