February 14, 2008

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Wasteful Consumption Patterns, Solder
Intolerance Records, Jan. 15
Despite Goldie’s Timeless album denting the Top Ten, the drum-n-bass genre has remained a mostly underground thing. The cheesy, super-fast drumbeats require a lot of getting used to, and the record labels and one-man-operations who labor over it appear to be in a race to see who can be the most obscure. The artists hate to be interviewed, preferring instead to work in their mad-scientist studios if they’re fortunate enough to sell a few records.

But let’s get our sub-genres straight: the DJ behind WCP is into darker stuff, techstep, to be precise; therefore it’s not just a messy pile of puree-speed drum machines, bent microwave timestretching and barely audible vocals, but a scary messy pile of same. Intolerance, a small label from Akron, is all up into industrial and darkwave; one of their acts remixed some Skinny Puppy tunes in the past, and this WCP project is a solid attempt at blending those sounds with techstep. Matter of fact, this record is what Goldie might do if he were a techstep guy instead of a drum-n-bass B-list celebrity; along with the warp-factor breakbeats are a few mid-tempo darkwave electro thingies. Like Acucrack, it’s got old-school stuff that newbies can latch onto and use to get their bearings, an essential element if the genre’s artists are ever going to move past having to run emergency online poker games in order to pay the rent. B+ — E. W. S.