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"Lie Cheat, and Steal"
by: Zero Sharp

Although it seems like the two genres should be easily intertwined, the ability to produce both quality breakbeats and drum and bass seems to elude most producers. Enter Klute, a low-profile drum and bass producer that has been consistently putting out some of the most popular tracks in the recent years. His most recent release, a two CD set called "Lie, Cheat, and Steal," feels like two separate albums, the first of drum and bass, and the second, called "You Should Be Ashamed," is comprised of breakbeat and more techno-styled tracks. Since the feel of each is rather different, I'll talk about them separately. In the past few years, Klute has carved a name for himself by mixing the "cyber-ish" and techno styled sounds of the darker movements of drum and bass, e.g. Cause 4 Concern, Renegade Hardware, and the DSCI4 labels, and mix it with soulful vocals and samples similar to the ones London Elektricity use. His results are generally good, and this album is no exception. A few tracks here are older, borrowed back from releases on other labels, and they are definitely welcome. The best track on the album, "Song Seller," is from Doc Scott's 31 label. "Part of Me," a popular release earlier in the year originally on Hospital Records is also here. "Evo Sniffer," a remix of an earlier track called "Glue Sniffer" also makes an appearance as the only hard track here. Mostly, the songs blend well, and aside from the above mentioned track, the tracks are light, danceable, and roll well. All in all, it's a solid release with a few really bright points, like "song Seller." The second disk, Klute's foray into the world of breakbeats and minimal techno, is a little more scattered. He's trying different things in different tracks, and they work to varying degrees. The disk starts with "Machines Do the Work," a fun track that mixes the minimal sounds and feel into a breakbeat setting. Sadly, when many drum and bass producers do breakbeat work, the result sounds like playing drum and bass 45s at 33, which sometimes can kill the whole mood. Klute mostly dodges the bullet, with the notable exception of "2 Lives" and possibly "Crucial." The upper atmospherics are done well, which makes the sluggish bassline even more of a shame. Into more of a minimal trip, both "Music For Doubles" and "Black Flag" please heartily in their simplicity and roll. Again, all in all, it's a good album with about half the album being very good. Putting the discs together, it makes for a solid release that is thoroughly enjoyable, and I would recommend it to fans of this style of sound.


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