Originally published: The Stool Pigeon
“There’s no longer the barrier of gatekeepers getting in the way of what music gets heard, popular or written about,” explains Walls’ Sam Willis regarding the evolution of the blogosphere. “Blogs are an amazing echo chamber and promotion for the right kind of acts like Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors, The xx. Essentially, the kind of promotion that major labels literally cannot buy, and are then forced to spend millions on getting the likes of James Blunt’s face onto every billboard to announce that he has a new record out.”
What Sam has failed to recognise is that he is the new breed of ‘gatekeeper’. As co-ring leader of leading London electronic music blog and DJ team Allez-Allez, he is part of a digital wave of partisan producers that cut, paste, remake and push tomorrow’s acts onto a rapacious new music audience, today. The ‘gatekeeper’ is no longer the old guard of the print media, nor is it under corporate control; they are blogs that subversively open digital doors to soon-to-be-lauded acts before the printing press can even be inked and primed.
Teaming up with similarly inclined blog sentinel Alessio Natalizia of Banjo or Freakout, the pair has embarked on a new lysergic trip into experimental electronic music as Walls. “We definitely think of the record as a journey, but as for where it takes the listener? That’s a totally subjective thing for them,” explains Sam. “I definitely see music as being transcendental – to me, not being a religious person, headphones are kind of my church. It’s such a meditative thing, so rich.”
That said, their eponymous debut album (released 26 April via Kompakt) is an engulfing listen. Layers of synth and analogue tones radiate with a warm, embracing feel, as layers of sound amount to a digital spectrum of opulent, aural pleasure. If Walls are gatekeepers, the door they are opening will allow your mind’s eye to travel amidst its boundless electronic pathways.