Lab Waste is for a specific audience, the one that dips into Busdriver’s Fear of a Black Tangent and Project Blowed stuff. The album is made up of the off-center beats from Subtitle and Thavius Beck (also called Adlib sometimes) and their abstract motormouth skills (mostly Subtitle’s). The collaboration proves to be a success, but one that takes an amount of tolerance for the weird, like a David Lynch marathon or going to church.
The items that were used in the development of Lab Waste’s Zwarte Achtegrond are listed inside the cover, and seemingly these gentlemen are familiar with the advantages of modern technology. The rhymes are often littered with technological metaphors. The backdrop on “Get the Signal,” for example, is mostly minimal dance fare with a beautiful melody of muffled vocals and an organ loop that filters in occasionally. Over top of this, however, is the meaningless, “You can get the signal, the unformatted disk” phrase. Some of us have dealt with the conundrum of unformatted disks, and we don’t want to be reminded of such annoyances when it’s time for hip-hop listening.
Subtitle’s flow is hyper fast and loaded with abstract ideas and words, which requires the rewind button almost all the way through. So patience is definitely needed here. And if nodding heads can’t bask in Twilight Zone-type beats from Thavius Beck (instrumentals and regulars) and the bonus remixes from Dntel, Daedelus and Sixtoo and at the same time enjoy the bizarre rhyme schemes, Lab Waste won’t work.