FaltyDL FaltyDLYou Stand Uncertain
Two years ago, Drew Lustman was simply a producer unknown to almost everyone who released an album, without warning of what he was about to unleash, on the best electronic label of the past decade. “ Love Is A Liability” (Planet Mu, 2009) was a cocktail of breaks, meticulous IDM and an erotic drive taken from gold-plated British 2step, polished until it shines more than the midday sun. Before that, his musical perspectives were even more ill-fated: he hardly had any experience or impact and he was working as a chef in a Japanese restaurant. However, today, FaltyDL is one of the most solid names of the abstract current of dance music, someone of whom, had he been on Wall Street, we would never sell our shares.
In the past twelve months, the New Yorker has been consolidating his position, exploring different options and preparing himself for the recording of a second album that sounds much like a continuation of “Love Is A Liability” –the classic concept of breaks + precious details + personal interpretation of the British hardcore continuum from the American east coast–, but also like personal growth and creative expansion towards other areas. It is, simply put, a 2.0 version of himself, with a strong influence from techno both from Detroit –“ The Pacifist”, on which the pre-history of Planet E can be heard– and its British deformation –may lightning hit me if “ Eight Eighteen Ten” doesn’t sound like golden age The Black Dog. The mirror game is fascinating in theory: a cosmopolitan American influenced by European techno, which in its turn was undoubtedly influenced by American techno. Lustman’s manoeuvre is twisted, almost Machiavellian, because he ignores his roots without rejecting them: in the string of 12”s he has been releasing up to this “ You Stand Uncertain” –on Rush Hour, Ramp Recordings and Planet Mu– there was a relocation from breakbeat to a deep house 4x4 –“ Hip Love”, “ Party”, “ All In The Place”–, but at the same time he maintained his eternal love of the UK on the significant “ To London”, and now everything comes together in this complex 5,000-piece puzzle.
On the album, all those constants are maintained, mixed in a somewhat chaotic way, but very effectively after all. In other words, we’re not dealing with a masterpiece, but “You Stand Uncertain” transmits confidence and guarantees in every track, be it a post-dubstep tune with nervous breaks, intimidating basslines and a tendency to cacophony –the title track– or a garage song with erotic diva vocals and sensual textures between MJ Cole and Burial –“ Brazil”, featuring Lily MacKenzie, as on “ Waited Patiently”–, or even faint downtempo fantasies –“ Gospel Of Opal”, on which Anneka sings and you get the unpleasant feeling of coffee table music which, for example, weighed down the last record of his fellow American Starkey (dissipated later)–, complex drum’n’bass exercises (“ Lucky Luciano” is reminiscent of early 4 Hero, no less) and deep techno with jazzy percussion, Innerzone Orchestra style, on “ Open Space” and “ Voyager”. There is a lot, it’s mixed, but it’s all good: FaltyDL has merged the new things he’s heard, took on different points of view in a natural way and, though the surprise won’t be as big as the first time around, when you listen to it calmly, it becomes clear that the man has put a step forward without looking back too much.