The Worst Label

After you’ve been crawling around the intertubes for a few decades and after spending a lot of time in its so-called underbelly, you tend to forget where you found something and/or neglect to document that discovery.

Such is the case with The Worst Label. A netlabel (let’s not diagnose the definition too much here) in existence since 2014, I apparently picked something up from them at some point because I find myself on their Bandcamp email list and was just alerted of their newest release.

Typically, I’d just review their most recent release or the one that made me catch wind of the label, especially on the heels of finding out I’m on their email list. But not this time. Aside from a couple of guitar focused releases that reside somewhere in the realms of angsty singer/songwriter and emo realms (barely enough releases to bother mentioning, honestly, but if you are also into that, go give those a trial run, too), basically everything on The Worst is based on breakbeats of one sort or another. Most of the output finds itself somewhere between jungle and breakcore, with forays into juke and drum’n’bass and other leftfield breaks focused niche sub-genres. But, if you like chopped Amen breaks in higher BPMs with weirdo sample fodder – you’ll be happy here. Anime samples and cover art seem to be another unifying factor I wish I was more versed in to comment on.

Anyhow, this album showed up in my email as part of an aforementioned email list and I have to admit that I’ve listened to it about 10 times since it came out less than 48 hours ago.

I don’t know that I’d call it anything groundbreaking, but it definitely ticks off all the boxes I enjoy from darker themed, experimentally leaning, breakbeat driven music that is somewhere in the realms of jungle, breakcore, and IDM. To be certain, I will be seeking out more of AKAZI‘s music. It all hits a very specific, rough around the edges yet focused bullseye for me, personally.

Diverse sampled breaks, lush evolving atmospheres, nice low end work, truly heady materials here.

AKAZI – “Overstimulation” on Bandcamp.

A decent portion of the material from The Worst is considered Lolicore? I guess that explains a lot of the anime cover art. I don’t know, once a genre hits a certain point I can’t be bothered to see how it fractions and where it lands. From what I gather, however, Lolicore uses a lot of anime samples and runs rampant in the breakcore/hardcore/nightcore realms. Which seems to add up. And, I guess, I never knew that I was into Lolicore until this label. I’ve surely heard material and artists that reside in the niche genre, but never felt myself saying “yeah, this is good, I get it, I dig this” until The Worst and my experience digging through the label catalog.

Since the AKAZI release, I have dived into the catalog of The Worst from release one backwards and only the guitar/emo stuff – again, barely worth mentioning here because it’s so few and far between – has made me skip tracks or fast forward. Lots and lots of atmosphere over lots and lots of low end work over lots and lots of breakbeat eidts. Not always amazing, not always good, always interesting though.

Again, much of this stuff is not groundbreaking or anything, but if you’re a fan of various types of atmospheres and quirky sampling, with special regard for breakbeats (Amen, especially), you’ll probably be okay landing anywhere in the catalog. Sometimes it’s silly and fun, other times I feel like it’s a tune that should be up there with the defining classics of the genre(s).

Anyhow, I never knew I liked Lolicore and you probably didn’t either.

At minimum you should listen to AKAZI – “Overstimulization” and at most you should dig through all of The Most.

Author: The Artbreaker

Rising from the ashes of the late 90s and early 00s netlabel, independent, and DIY music journalism scene to bring you that good good once more.

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