[sic] Magazine

First Glances – Will Hatton

The music business is a funny old game. Will Hatton is a definite talent but he’s unlikely to get the plaudits he deserves for a number of (probably unfair) reasons. First up there’s his name. Silky electronic producers tend to go by enigmatic stage-monikers. These provide a degree of intrigue on which a marketing proposal is usually then built. The same, sadly, is rarely afforded by a run-of-the-mill RL name. Iffy artwork doesn’t help either when something a touch more abstract would probably have suited Hatton better.

Then there’s the fact he hails from Essex … crucially not from London. He needn’t move to be a success, of course, but if he wants the hype machine to play in his favour his bio could do with a spring clean. He could comfortably lose such heavy mention, for example, of the fact that he’s a Grade 8 session drummer as, let’s face it, it sounds a bit nerdy, but at the same time much more should also be made of his skills as a stickman because they’re his secret weapon.

The tight R&B manipulations of Hatton’s debut Extraordinary Ordinary EP are made his own in places by the precise pitter-patter of his kit rather than the usual wheezy compressions of a machine. And, while his beats and overlays aren’t the most adventurous and it’s true he’s missed the boat for the first wave of such sounds, French-language spoken samples that may as well have been nabbed from Desire are one of a series of trace elements that help set the scene for a post-Drive soundscape of late-night synth-play. Warm pulses fill out his ambient compositions, achingly familiar key refrains and guitar flickers deployed as if they were nothing more than a breeze on a summer’s eve.

That percussive pull of his steadies warped off-beats while vocals pitch up and down in a bewitching slow-step. On the tasteful “Milk” melodious pop cosies up to a subtle Bass drop and an exploration of netherworld synth whereas “Something Good” has ideas of Holy Other-esque grandeur, minimal 808 skitter and slo-mo Bass filling out into watery future-beats and the ghost of downbeat piano-house. Sometimes we all just need to step back and stop looking for the next trend and be thankful for what we’ve got now.

~The Extraordinary Ordinary EP is self-released and available for digital and physical purchase via Bandcamp.~