Compactor is an industrial glitchy project from Derek Rush. There’s not really any other way to describe it. The artist’s moniker makes sense; just as a garbage compactor has its own sense of rhythm during the motions of its machinery, so too does Desensitization Reprocessing. It’s a tape full of heavy beats that are noises and static repackaged into useful, surprising textures.
There are six tracks on this 30-minute cassette, split up into Side Attack and Side Recoil. The first two tracks are surprisingly upbeat; they utilize heavy bass and really pumping rhythms, alternately adding some sounds like the small amounts of feedback chatter on “Battered” or beeps. For the most part, these tracks are looped without much change to the overall sound – the same beats will likely be heard throughout the track, though the counterparts within will shift or even drop out. It’s a pattern that works well for Compactor, and “Multiple Fractures” on side Attack shows that Compactor can also slow his rhythms down without losing any of the power.
And that starts to signal a move into the more restrained territory for side Recoil. “Victims” has a thudding bass line but is mostly driven by a shuddering, chirruping background along with the drone of a distant freeway. And “Suppression” chugs along at such a slow clip that it feels on a completely different plain from the chaos of Side Attack’s “Lacerations”. The final track “Bleeding Out” features a repetitive loop of dripping water along with a squeaky bass beat – that’s how I’d describe it, anyway – and the creepy intercutting of static that sounds like a harsh whisper.
The first half is certainly the more entertaining one, because Compactor kills it with huge beats and perfect progression. The second side is more experimental, and the energy level is diminished. But it makes sense for the tape – first the Attack, then the Recoil, until the final track ends with a depletion of the high octane energy we started with.