FaltyDL: Phreqaflex EP
Reviewed by Mike Coleman Source: (Fact Magazine)
The latest essential 12” from the hyper-productive Planet Mu comes from New York’s FaltyDL. Both Falty’s debut album, Love is a Liability and subsequent Bravery EP displayed a talent for crafting his own unique take on an international spread of influences (garage and IDM amongst others), in what boils down to a skewed homage to his native New York.
With this in mind it’s no surprise that Falty’s next two releases for the Mu camp share a similar sense of re-imagination and referential nostalgia. The forthcoming Endeavour EP – set to surface in Mid-September – sees Falty adopt, skew and alter the sounds of classic house in a similar fashion. Yet however exciting this prospect is, it’s not worth looking ahead too keenly because to do so is to risk overlooking the most recent release from this prolific New Yorker, the Phreqaflex EP, which is probably deserving of more attention.
In all honesty the three tracks that comprise this release could have been created 15 years either side of today. Shuffling 2-step percussion is the motif on this trio as Lustman turns his keen ear and taut production to vintage garage. The title track pairs those instantly recognisable drums with the sort of bouncy synths and shimmering key-hits that are almost inseparable from this sort of stepper-friendly shuffle. ‘Because of You’ is like a dark, blurry memory of ‘Phreqaflex’’s sunny sounds, opening with near-inaudible, lost-in-reverb vocals that tint the track’s light lounge keys with an eerie tone. There’s an inherently uneasy feel to the track, a fragmented, half-remembered happiness – but a danceable one all the same.
Closer ‘My Friends Will Always Say’ is the most spacious of the three – the dusty hi-hats and hopscotch kicks are stripped back to make room for soulful lounge vocals, chopped syllables and mournful pitch-bent exclamations. There’s no doubting where this track has come from; its vocals may sound timeless but the thick, spaced-out lounge chords and wet bubbling synth towards its conclusion render it utterly FaltyDL – a sound that’s popped up throughout his work to date. Phreqaflex may leave some people reminiscing, but FaltyDL here proves that exploring a genre from the past can help you feel out your future as effectively as it can whisk you away on a trip down memory lane.
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