CD, Sistinas Music, 2006
This must be what happens when a project’s first live performance is to open a Converter gig. US act W.A.S.T.E., consisting of S. Englefield and T. Harper, is the force behind “This Is What We Seek”, the (completely) full-length, 75 minute powernoise affair that is the third release in L.A.-based Sistinas Music catalogue.
Carrying many traits from the acts that seem to have influenced W.A.S.T.E., such as Converter, Manufactura and Combichrist, the sound is relentlessly hard-hitting, with high-impact beats constantly clashing with sharp frequencies, in what quickly becomes a sheer rhythmic pummelling for your speakers, ears and neighbours alone. The inclusion of samples is frequent, without the tracks ever becoming too reliant on them, focusing mainly on the driving force of the percussion instead.
However, what gives the album its raw strength is also the main drawback. There is a certain lack of finesse and variety, that becomes accented by this consistent focus on the beat, along with the full length of the release, leading to its feeling somewhat congested with all the 4/4 pounding that takes over throughout. With only two of the tracks (“Remote Viewing” and the “Inside You” mix of “Psycho Killer”) shifting towards slower paces, and both placed at the last third of the album, playing it from start to end can almost seem tiring. This is clearly a shame, since most of the tracks shine when examined on their own merits.
Things like splitting the release in two discs, and adding a track or two of interludes on each would seriously help, as evident in other releases by similarly or even less heavy-hitting acts.
Still, for anyone in the search for good powernoise, W.A.S.T.E.’s debut is indeed, what you seek.
— George Mouratidis