Album: Waste Product
Blurb: Controlled chaos at its catchiest, Derek Rush allows his skills as a noisemaker to take center stage and raises his middle finger to popular music with this beastly noise outing.
Derek Rush is a well known master of melding the caustic sonic environment of industrial noise with the melancholy softness of melodic songwriting with such entities as Dream into Dust and A Murder of Angels. With Compactor, Rush puts his skills as a noisemaker to the utmost, eschewing any necessity for lyrical introspection in favor of pure audio exploration. Comprised of six tracks created from various sources of “recycled waste found in popular music,” Waste Product is a brief but powerful introduction to the skewed and distorted musical vision Compactor represents. While not lacking in rhythm, Compactor’s brand of noise is far from the four-on-the-floor overdrive and acid-drenched pounding of power noise. From the glitch-laden backdrops and scathing mangled breakbeats of “Beyond Safe,” there is a subtle sense of atmospheric structure at play that borders on danceable if not for the odd time signature. Simlarly, the electronic noise and rumbles of what could be an overdriven bass or guitar on “Tindersticks” repeating to a 7/8 count followed by metallic shrieks gives an almost melodic or lyrical sensation amid the controlled chaos. More ominous is the slower marching beat and low bass hum of “Vacant Theory,” the scratchy chug of distortion and seething static gradually building in tempo to make for an intensely nightmarish track, while “Real Horror” screams with a cacophonous mix of guitar feedback and synthesized growling gradually building to a frantic but infectious beat, like the approach and inevitable devouring of a vicious mechanical beast. “Dustbin Beater” is perhaps the most straightforward track with a beat that can actually be called catchy slithering through various manipulations and electronic coughs and cackles before ending with a sudden offbeat barrage. “Gagged” ends the EP with a thunderous roar of gabber and scraping breaks topped off by the stutters and squeals of electronic noise keeping the ambience. One would be hard pressed to identify any semblance of the original sound sources culled to produce the tracks on Waste Product, the song titles offering only the slightest hint to where they may have come from. Partially jest, partially insult, Compactor’s Waste Product is a big “fuck you” to the mainstream in the purest and least contrived way possible, taking the recycled unoriginality of popular music to a logical and abrasive end. For all of its lack of any traditional musical qualities beyond percussion, the noise that Compactor pummels through the speakers is deceptively ordered and sublime, suggesting its way into the listener’s psyche and standing up to repeated listening for those mentally equipped to bear the brunt of the onslaught.