Wasteland - October
Wasteland, like the name suggests, are a raw stripped down sort of a band. Well, band is pushing it somewhat as Wasteland are a duo consisting of New York's I-Sound and London's DJ Scud who, between them, have cooked up this collection of cutting edge electronica and experimental sounds. That's right, there are no songs, either. Experimental music, such as what Wasteland provides us with here, is very much an acquired taste. However, it's not quite as cutting edge as the duo would probably like us to think. It owes much to bands like Kraftwerk and even Neu in that there's a definite lineage thing going on here and Wasteland are very much a product of this sort of stuff rather than existing outside it. From the very beginning this is clear - The pops and drips of opening salvo 'Sandwood' owe much to Kraftwerk in the rigid structure that the softer, more off-the-wall effects are built around. There's even hints of Throbbing Gristle here which is never a bad thing.
This is chill-out music for the morbid. Brooding, dark, oppressive beats slowly vibrate and morph and are carried by the slow, squealing bursts of static and electronic effects. Listen to ‘Wintermission’ for a superb example of this. It gets darker as it progresses - Flash Point is positively funereal in it's tone and tempo with flashes of tones and slow bursts of noise that flit around the central beat. It's not all downbeat, though, Tracks like 'Hourglass' move along at fair pace with drill effects and subtle electronica. The overall feel of this album, though, is one of post-euphoric comedown, which means that it could well come in handy at some point for some.
Ultimately, ‘October’ leaves you wanting a little more. This is a substantial enough offering and runs for a good forty minutes but still it's not enough; there's a sense that each of the pieces is simply a development of the same theme. Slow beats with electronic pulses and flashes and that's about it. There's enough here to keep the post club crowd happy, but it might leave everyone else a little cold - Especially if this isn't your bag. If it is your thing, you're strongly advised to seek this out right now. Well worth investigating and it's a name that you'd do well to look out for in the future.