Walton: 10 tracks that blew my mind

A man steeped in bass music history, Mancunian Sam Walton, who uses his surname as his musical moniker, has just released his ambitious second album Black Lotus on Tectonic.

With Eastern influences meeting grime-infused beats, there’s a cinematic quality to the LP, with Walton showing a willingness to experiment across its 10 tracks.

It’s another decet of tunes that we asked Sam to discuss, though - the 10 tracks that blew his mind. Here’s what he came up with.

1. El-B ft Juiceman - Buck And Bury (2002)

“El-B makes some of the sickest rolling drum patterns I have ever heard. This one is a sick example of the darker side of garage that ended up evolving into dubstep. I have played it out recently and it still gets a sick response and sounds so fresh. Check out the Roots of Dubstep and Roots of El-B compilations as well for loads of other sick tunes.”

2. Dizzee Rascal - Stop Dat (2003)

“Boy In Da Corner was one of the first albums I ever bought and is still one of my favourites. I don’t think I had ever heard anything as hard and aggressive before hearing this tune. The whole album is fire and will always sound as fresh as it did when it first came out, but Stop Dat is definitely a standout for me and has had a big impact on the way I make music.”

3. Jammer - Nasty (2003)

“This one had a big impact on me because It was the first tune that made me really start to notice the influence of oriental sounds in grime music. It made me start to dig deeper into the sinogrime sound which ended up having a massive influence on my Black Lotus LP.”

4. Loefah - The Goat Stare (2005)

“I remember hearing this tune at the West Indian Centre in Leeds and having my whole body completely rattled by the bass. Before that I hadn’t really heard dubstep the way it was intended to be heard. Most of the stuff I was into at that time were tunes with bit more of a midrange in the bass that you could here on shit speakers. This is a perfect example of really minimal raw dubstep with one of the heaviest sub basses I have ever heard.”

5. Burial - Etched Headplate (2007)

“I had to include a Burial tune in here. Untrue is a complete masterpiece and I have listened to it over and over since I first heard it. This is the one I remember having the biggest impact on me from first listen. The textures and vocal cut ups add so much emotion to his music and his drums are always amazing.”

6. Lil Silva - Pulse vs Flex (2009)

“Funky has been another massive influence on my music and Lil Silva has some huge tunes from around the same period as this. This is one of the tunes that made me want to start mixing grime sounds with new styles of music and keep things moving forward. For those that don’t know it uses the bass stabs from classic grime tune Pulse X and blends them with his own Funky Flex.”

7. Addison Groove - Footcrab (2010)

“I had never heard of Footwork when I heard this tune for the first time so it sounded completely alien to me and I had no idea where the influence had come from. Its such an amazing energetic tune and it opened the door for a new sound for Swamp81 that I have been following ever since. That whole period was so influential to me when I was starting to really take music production seriously.”

8. Joe - Claptrap (2010)

“This tune is a sick example of what you can do with minimal elements and is pretty much just made up of claps and a few other bits of percussion. It is one of those tunes that will just mix with anything and sound amazing. I recently used it in my mix for Hyponik between an old bassline tune and a new ambient bit by Raime on Different Circles.”

9. Kowton - TFB (2013)

“As someone who has always tried to take influences from old grime instrumentals and use them in my music, I was blown away when I heard this. It’s so simple and raw but so effective in a rave. Those grimey bass stabs and claps are sick! He has a load of other bits like H Street and More Games that are definitely worth checking out if you are into this."

10. Pinch & Mumdance ft Riko - Big Slug (2015)

“Three of my favourite artists got together to make this banger. A perfect example of how the UK techno sound can work amazingly with the sonics of dubstep and with vocals by one of the pioneers of grime music. I also had the pleasure of remixing this one as well; it came out on Riko Dan’s Hard Food EP at the beginning of the year.”

Walton plays at Hidden in Manchester on 21 September

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.