This debut CD-R from Weakener is a great disc that seemingly came out of nowhere and blind-sided me, easily ending up as one of my favorite releases of 2000. Though you can probably tag it as dark drum 'n bass fused with abstract electro without pissing anyone off, there is far more going on here than can easily fit under one neat and tidy category.
Founded this past summer by Philadelphia's Kevin Potts, Weakener is a spinoff from his other solo work as Cage Decay, a hard edged, dance oriented project (which was recently signed to the new Syncromesh label). It branches out quite a bit stylistically, as it was his intention to experiment with this material and take more risks. The outcome is an enticing, smooth blend of layered, uneven beats, deep, dark atmospheres and a multitude of interwoven samples and programming.
Suffocation seems to work with a series of contradictions: both smooth and caustic, structured and abstract, unidirectional yet completely on track. The mix is poignant and refreshing, and throughout the hour-long disc I'm surprised at how organized it all sounds, especially considering how much is going on at any given moment.
With an upcoming high profile compilation appearance (Ad Noiseam's Krach Test) and new material already in the works, Weakener won't go unnoticed for long. A handful of songs from this release are available for download at mp3.com.