Walker Barnard ‘Follow the Smoke EP’

Walker Barnard / ‘Follow the Smoke EP’


Adjunct / Released December 29th 2010

Despite the tribalistic introductory beats of Follow the Smoke, it’s not long before you can tell there’s something of a sun-baked influence afoot here. It’s also deep as Berlin, and so it makes sense the man behind the beats has connections with Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the German capital.

Looking back at the last paragraph, it’s obvious one thing needs to be made clear here. It sounds little like the house of America’s southern states, nor the dominant driving force in Deutsche clubbing. There’s a little of both, sure, but there’s also plenty of Danny Howells atmospherics, glitchy-modernity, and even a hint of Herbert-esque attention to artsy-leaning detail too, ensuring the scope for sales here should be wider than the kick drums.

The remixes aren’t half bad either. Kicking things offer is Ryan Crosson’s impressive effort, which sacrifices the plod of its source material in favour of something that would be at home mid-Martyn. Building breakbeats are capped with a barely-recognisable, pitched trumpet hook. Before long there’s a pretty awesome crescendo peaking, before we’re dropped back into harmonious monotony. Heads down stuff that’s also this EP’s hands in the air show stopper.

Clovis’ reworking offers sounds in stark contrast to either of the aforementioned, and pretty much anything else we’ve heard for some time. Sinister strings sit on broken beats that smack of experimentalism. Even the warm synths can’t lighten the mood much, which offers little for most dancefloors but plenty to think about in terms of musical arrangement. Finally we have Sufi Futurist, and then the Big Bully and Odnu version, which throw up carnival-style rolling house and dub-tech-come-percussive house respectively. Again delivered with deft hands, they complete a truly individual package.