Coming in strong as the first Symbols release of 2016, LAB 01 is the first in a series of releases featuring collaborations between Kastle and artists from the label’s roster and extended family. LAB 01 brings Kadahn, Kid Smpl and WWWINGS into the fold for three sharp toothed efforts that tend to build and expand on each respective artist’s repertoire instead of finding a safe and happy medium. With Kastle’s hi-tech machinations a major locus, LAB 01 touches on everything from hardcore techno and jungle to more abstracted, industrial tropes, often within the span of a single track.
“Tension At The Surface”, with Kadahn, features a more expansive rendition of the interweaving melodic forms found throughout the artist’s Eraser Meditations LP (out last year on Symbols), while “Apart Protocol”, with Kid Smpl, ratchets up the tempo and matches twinkling piano with pinging percussion that eventually builds into breakbeat-laden madness. Meanwhile, “Ghost”, with the WWWINGS outfit, is the most haunting effort of the package, matching detuned square waves and, contrarily, moments of both near-silence and world-tearing noise. Considering that there are four separate artistic entities involved in LAB 01, the record’s coherent aesthetic is a testament to Kastle’s curatorial work and yet another reason to get excited about the label’s 2016 output.