By: Sam Lawrence
You may not know GG Wallin, but if you’ve been paying attention to recent Thazdope Records releases, you will have already heard his work in the Nematodes EP that came out earlier this year, and you may have caught the work of his partner in that project when Parrotice dropped his album, also on Thazdope.
“Sunken In” is a crunchy deep dub track with firm sidewalls of noise that guide the thumping kicks along their brief 1:53 run. The track is plain in its composition, but is a good primer for what’s to come and is mixed well. Simplicity and depth are themes of this EP, as a common sound is established across the record, but with each track a slightly fresh approach. There is little room for complications or frills here, but the album never feels repetitive or lazy. The sounds build on each other over time, guiding the listener deeper into that dark place where their creator dwells.
The mood continues to slowly grow across “I Hope” and we get our first taste of some of the creepiness that GG Wallin likes to incorporate into his sound design, particularly in his builds and pre-drops. There isn’t a track over four minutes on the whole EP, but “I Hope” manages to cover a lot of ground in a short time, moving into jazzy movements, ambient spaces, and several approaches to its own beat; all without feeling hurried, rushed, or contrived. Less music than sound, it’s a fun and mellow track.
“Nervous Fucking Wreck” has been in my secret stash for a couple months now, and it’s one of my favorite productions by GG Wallin out of his entire, extensive catalog. This track is creepy, brooding, wet, hollow, heavy, and full of malice. Evil sonic chambers exhale their menacing groans as the bass envelops and encircles the mind. A faint conversation of samples disorients the listener. This is the turning point of the EP.
The energy jumps way up for “Purple Sweats” and I find myself moving from nods of the head to chair dancing. Here Wallin sneaks in spicy little segments of trap to perk up the dub beat, but abandons the idea as quickly as he begins it. We quickly fall into “Jammed” and the EP continues to build its weird but undeniably fun energy. The ingredients here are all right, but the track feels buzzy and hushed in places, while piercing and sharp in others. I found myself happy to continue on to “Subtitles” which take us back into the spacious bass playscapes that are GG Wallin’s forté. Here again, trap elements arise but are never fully explored.
“Pogo Trip” is a thumping party mover that keeps elements of Wallin’s style in little echoes and pings that strengthen, rather than distract from the core driving beat. The track takes the EP to its highest energy and shows the capabilities of the artist at making fun music as well as the dark stuff. To close out, “Skinless” drops us back into the bottomless pit, lest we forget where we came from. Droning 808s snore and hum underneath a repetitive and eclectic set of drums and samples that rather sound like a flying swarm of bats. This EP is one for the heads and longtime fans will feel right at home, but it also hints at new themes and brighter energies in GG Wallin’s evolving sound.
The functionality you are trying to use is for members only. Would you like to sign in?