FALTYDL – YOU STAND UNCERTAIN
Reviewed by Juliun Source: (Little Detroit)
To describe New Yorker Drew Lustman’s second album for Planet Mu as ‘anticipated’ would be an understatement. FaltyDL’s sound has evolved considerably since his ‘Love Is A Liability’ debut, as showcased by a steady stream of remixes as well as EP releases such as last year’s ‘Endeavour’, also for Mu.
Initial airing of album opener ‘Gospel of Opel’ will be the first time most people have heard FaltyDL work with a vocalist. The DNA of UK rhythm science pulses from within the track, albeit in a subdued and house-imbued form that allows Anneka’s cut-crystal vocals to come to the fore. On first listen I’m reminded of some of Herbert’s finer moments.
‘The Pacifist’ is heavily redolent of the cryptic, eldritch rave of early Black Dog Productions releases- and all the better for it. The opening bars of ‘Open Space’ imply an imminent dubstep drop but gloriously confound expectations by giving way to vintage rave euphoria, a spectral timestretched diva and a complex, organic-sounding jazz-funk sample. At times the track invokes the spirit of Photek or 808 State. These brief flickers of recognition appear only to be supplanted moments later as new musical pathways are explored. All of this somehow unfolds in just under four minutes. Incredible.
UK-based vocalist Lily McKenzie features on two tracks, ‘Brazil’ being one of the sweetest, lightest and most airily soulful 2 step tracks I’ve heard. ‘Eight Eighteen Ten’ meanwhile traces at least part of its mixed ancestry to ‘Bug in the Bassbin’.
Everything here is off-axis somehow. Lustman’s light-touch references to aspects of classic house, disco and rave somehow seem both authentic and weirdly-refracted. Witness Incredible Bongo Band breaks receive the choppage treatment only to be intruded upon by analogue drum sounds more at home on a Trax release. Some notable exceptions notwithstanding- title track ‘You Stand Uncertain’ amongst them- the arrangment of many tracks is deliberately restless, as though he is reluctant to establish too solid a foundation to underpin the experimental nature of the offerings.
‘You Stand Uncertain’ is a hugely satisfying listen, although one that might prove initially jarring to lovers of some of FaltyDL’s older output. The many assumed influences flagged in this review should not impy there is anything other than consummate artistry, sonic exploration and dazzling originality to be found here. Hugely recommended.
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