Music Reviews


Lie, Cheat & Steal / You Should Be Ashamed

Breakbeat Science

A pioneer of brainy 1990s breakbeat, Klute (a.k.a. Tom Withers) was essential in toning down the aggression of jungle, as this conceptually split two-disc set brilliantly demonstrates. The first disc, Lie, Cheat & Steal, is by far the most successful of the two, representing the polished elegance of his music, the natural flow that makes his best work so intriguing and his curious exploration of angular melodies. Disc two, You Should Be Ashamed, is more in the vein of techno-leaning breakbeat. It’s less linear, and more club-friendly. As sophisticated as his usual work, this disc nonetheless fails to engage at the same level, being little more than vague constructions of repetition.

The double album is a fitting summary of Klute’s career so far, representing both his intellectual constructions and his musical limitations. At his best, he’s a brilliant composer and an exciting musician, but at the same time he’s more of a traditionalist than he seems willing to admit to himself. Lie, Cheat & Steal / You Should Be Ashamed perfectly encapsulates these two aspects of Klute, and functions both as a fine addition to an already impressive discography, as well as recommended listening for curious newcomers.

Breakbeat Science:

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