FaltyDL - Endeavour
Reviewed by Philip Sherburne Source: (Resident Advisor)
Is FaltyDL becoming a purist? Not exactly: His highly individual style has always been an amalgamation of sounds, from funk to dubstep, and it remains so. But his recent 12-inches for Planet Mu set aside the hodge-podge approach that has occasionally marked his work, especially in album form—not necessarily for the worse, mind—in favor of more focused studies in style. His last EP, Phreqaflex, offered his own interpretation of late '90s 2-step garage; Endeavour hones in on slow-motion house. It's a risky maneuver, but what's striking is how strongly Falty DL's voice comes through, even when he stretches outside what we've come to assume is his comfort zone.
Despite the New York producer's reputation on the dubstep (or post-dubstep) scene, this isn't the first time he's turned his attentions to downbeat house and funk; Endeavour builds upon experiments begun with Ramp Recordings' Metacognist EP, Rush Hour's All in the Place, and "Some Day My Queen Will Come," his contribution to the North/South/East/West compilation. If the latter sounded a little like a love letter to Recloose, "Endeavour" and "Odyssey" betray the influence of London's Floating Points in faintly squelchy funk basslines and massing swirls of keys. The percussion is as wonky as it always is in Falty DL's hands, with drum kits cobbled together from multiple drum machines, thrown stumblingly out of sync and pushed gently into the red; it lends essential bite to what otherwise might come off as jazzy meandering.
With its crisp, parallel breakbeats and many sample overlays, "Filthy Divinity" sounds a little like DJ Shadow gone house. The drum groove and bassline are powerful enough that just a few keyboard flourishes are enough to flesh out the proportions of the track; the vocal snippets are so over-the-top obvious ("And Jack had a groove"; "I am the creator, and this is my house") that they feel like victory laps, proof of what you can get away with if you know your history—and have the chops to claim your own place in the continuum.
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