Veteran electronic composer Western has quietly amassed an extensive, widely-varied, and highly collectible catalog of solo work outside of his better-known work with cEvin Key as Download and Plateau. "Laborandum" amicably sums up his solo work (both under his own name and as Kone) into a cohesive 54-minute set.
Opening with the elegantly lush urban techno of "303", Western's combination of Detroit-style grooves, mellow West-coast psychedelia, and a post-industrial sense of sound manipulation come together splendidly on cuts like "Ke Bop Bop". "I Roll The Nickels" deftly uses samples of Charlie Manson alongside otherworldly electronic blips and beats. "Angels", the exclusive track here, is a dark slice of hallucinogenic electronica that reminds of classic Severed Heads with a modern ambient twist. The remaining tracks don't falter, either, and although "Laborandum" could be packed with more music, and plenty of Western's works remain criminally out of print, this is a superb place to sample his skilled sounds and beats. (Rustblade Records)