Lab Waste

Imagine if Blackalicious and Beans decided to collaborate on an album for Def Jux. Chances are it probably wouldn’t work out well, but Lab Waste, a new duo out of Los Angeles, have effectively combined the soulful old-school hip-hop awareness of Blackalicious with a teched-out sound that Beans’ old crew Anti-Pop Consortium could appreciate and an intensity that Def Jux acts like Cannibal Ox have become synonymous with. Zwarte Achtegrond (which is Dutch for "Black Background”) is a superb and eclectic debut that demonstrates there are still many bridges left to cross in hip-hop. Featuring remix work throughout the album by heavy hitters on both the electronic and hip-hop fronts, such as Sixtoo, Daedelus and Dntel, Zwarte Achtegrond moves through a kaleidoscope of moods and flavours, from the soaring glitch-hop melodies of "Get the Signal” to the ominous claustrophobia of "Too Close / 2 Clothes.” This is a challenging yet highly accessible ride that has enough gas to take it twice around the block and still go cruising for burgers.