FaltyDL - You Stand Uncertain
Reviewed by Netti Source: (Spoonfed)
FaltyDL, aka Andrew Lustman, is the romantic nu-garage production poet of New York. His album 'You Stand Uncertain', due for release on Planet Mu on 14th March, paints a nostalgic dream for all bass heads. The album features twelve tracks that flit from one genre to the next with the kind of artistic freedom that's essential for producers to protect against the limitations of genre-boxing.
FaltyDL's first album, 'Love Is A Liability' got slung into the dubstep genre on its release in 2009. Although strongly influenced by UK bass music, his sound couldn't be further from the bolshy wobbles of dubstep. He masters a more stylised rhythm that resonates around his influences and dusts his tracks with a light experimental airiness. Lustman's style is compared to the likes of Hyperdub's Burial. As another two-stepper possessing a genre-defying style, there is truth in this. Except the imagery conjured by Lustman's production is much lighter than Burial's – whose production reflects more on a dimly lit suburbia.
'You Stand Uncertain' sees his spacey production taking more of a form. The beginning track 'Gospel Of Opel' is the first time he's used vocals in his production. Aneka's voice is infused into a gentle, synth-cushioned, two-step beat, creating a kind of ethereal lullaby. He hasn't just slapped in any vocal to give it that accessible chick vibe; it's very much suited to the reminiscent style he wants it to take. Throughout the album the vocals have been placed impeccably, as he strokes them thoughtfully across many tracks. Sometimes they're barely audible, like the distant siren-like jungle samples in 'Lucky Luciano', whilst at other times they dominate. In 'Brazil' he uses female vocals to create a slamming nu-garage beat. He models the basic ingredients – a quintessential UK garage rhythm spread with achingly nostalgic vocals. And then he modernises it, to its post-garage style, by softening the bass line and relaxing the structure with bright steel pan sounds.
There is a subtle intensity throughout this album. Lustman's production conjures a futuristic landscape built on old jungle, hip hop, disco and house. He stimulates the sounds of a dusty urban haze haunted by the ghosts of past genres. Having removed the heavy duty, defined bass lines of his bass-driven influences, he still manages to achieve a similar depth and energy, and the album moves with the fluidity of Lustman's adored jungle music. The listener is whisked on a journey that transcends time.
Towards the end of the album are a couple of prominent two-step tracks: 'Tell Them Stories' and 'Play With My Heart'. 'Play With My Heart' evokes a hopeful melody, eager whispers and messy rhythm. These final tracks conclude the point at where his production stands today – as a pioneer of a new two-step generation.
'You Stand Uncertain' is an album that will keep growing on you, revealing a bit more each time you listen.
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