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About WEN

Owen Darby produces spacious yet hard-hitting grime and U.K. garage under the name Wen. He prefers cold, dark sounds to more colorful, joyous ones, and his tracks often contain deadly sub-bass tones plunging out from tense, dread-filled atmospheres. Darby grew up in a small town about an hour away from London, and was exposed to the U.K. bass music continuum via pirate radio. He started producing in 2008, when he was 16 years old, and he began releasing tracks in 2012. Before long, his work caught the attention of Blackdown, who released Commotion on Keysound Recordings in 2013. This preceded additional 12"s on labels like Tempa and Wisdom Teeth, as well as Wen's debut full-length, Signals, which Keysound issued in 2014. The album's sparse, haunting take on grime earned critical acclaim, with critics hailing Wen as one of the most forward-thinking producers of instrumental grime's revival, along with peers such as Visionist and Beneath. Darby continued releasing tracks on labels like Tectonic and Soundman Chronicles, and his work became more ambitious, with his remix of Royal-T's "Shotta" clocking in at 11 minutes, as well as more reflective and delicate. After signing with Big Dada in 2015, he took his time to craft new material; his first release for the label was 2017's Carve + Gaze EP. ~ Paul Simpson

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