Afronaut is the primary alias of Orin Walters, a chief instigator of the broken beat scene. Not only is Walters one of the best producers in the field of broken beat – a loose tag for a brand of heavily rhythmic breakbeat fusion that features chopped up beats – but he’s also been behind the formation of the Bugz in the Attic collective, in addition to having released plenty of the scene’s recorded output through labels he has set up and helped like Mousetrap, Suckers Need Bass, and Bitasweet.

Walters’ route into dance music began in the late ‘80s, when he began listening to pirate radio stations and frequenting warehouse parties. It wasn’t long before he was spinning house on London pirates and holding residencies at several clubs. He spent some time living in Chicago during the mid-‘90s and helped operate clubs like Kaboom and the Shelter. After returning to the U.K., he became a fixture at Ronnie Scott’s and began collaborating with Phil Asher as Blak ‘n’ Spanish.

The Mousetrap label was initiated around the same time, and the constantly mutating/developing Bugz in the Attic group took shape, taking on production work and remix work. Walters’ Afronaught productions tend to sound more directly soul-influenced than those of his counterparts – for instance, “Transcend Me”, which is often heralded as being one of the best broken beat tracks of all time, has an easy, free-flowing soulful nature supplanted with complex, sputtering drum programming. His debut full-length as Afronaught (Afronaut), the excellent ‘Shapin’ Fluid’, was released on R&S subsidiary Apollo and is now considered a modern classic in the genre.

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