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South London's Deadboy (Allen Wootton) was one of the most versatile producers of the post-dubstep era. Since debuting in 2009, he regularly turned out exceptional singles which managed to make upbeat, colorful garage/2-step anthems out of melancholy, sometimes downright heartbroken vocal samples. He also dipped into genres such as jungle, house, and ambient. Initially known for chopping up R&B vocal samples in his tracks, his work grew to incorporate his own vocals on his 2017 full-length Earth Body. Later discontinuing the Deadboy moniker and producing music as Al Wootton, he released the dubby full-length Witness in 2020, followed by club EPs such as 2022's Alandazu (with Azu Tiwaline). Following the release of two limited experimental cassettes on the Judgement Dispenser label (including one as part of chiptune/dancehall project Hyper Black Bass) and a 12" as Deadboy Racer, Wootton first made an impact on the scene with "U Cheated," released by Well Rounded Records in 2009. His 2010 single "If U Want Me" was one of the first releases on Glasgow-based Numbers, which quickly became one of dance music's most buzzed-about, boundary-pushing labels. Deadboy released two more 12"s on Well Rounded (one of which contained Julio Bashmore's remixes of "U Cheated" B-side "Heartbreaker") and three more on Numbers, in addition to remixing songs by Jamie Woon, Scuba, Foals, Paul Weller, and scores of other artists. In 2015, he released a lush, ambient single titled "It Did Not Feel Right" on Crazylegs. This preceded White Magick, an EP for Local Action which combined ambient and new age (styles he played at his club night, New Atlantis) with his style of knotty, bass-heavy garage beats. Black Magick, a more beat-driven remix EP, followed. In 2016, he collaborated with grime producer Murlo as DBM, and released 12"s on Unknown to the Unknown and Ten Thousand Yen. He also relocated to Montreal on a whim, having never visited Canada before. While living there, he started writing downtempo pop songs inspired by Drake and Rihanna, and featuring his own vocals. Earth Body, Deadboy's debut full-length, was released by Local Action in 2017. Following a few more singles, he retired the Deadboy moniker and produced music under his own name, Al Wootton. He formed the Trule label in 2018, and released his first EPs as Wootton in 2019. His dub-heavy full-length Witness arrived in 2020, and the Maenads EP followed in 2021. Solo EP Callers Spring and Azu Tiwaline collaboration Alandazu (on Livity Sound) appeared in 2022.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo


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