FaltyDL - You Stand Uncertain (Planet Mu)
Reviewed by Unknown Source: (Pop Matters)
Brooklyn a la London producer Drew Lustman a.k.a. FaltyDL put out his second LP for the Planet Mu imprint this week, the follow-up to his 2009 debut Love Is a Liability. What was clear from that record—and a series of EPs he put out leading up to that release—was that 2-step and UK garage were the focal point of Lustman’s rhythmic palette. But despite the obvious nod to these sounds in his productions, they always seemed to be informed greatly by avant-garde jazz drums and hip-hop, two great reasons to choose New York as your jumping off point, and even greater reasons to flesh out a UK breakbeat already greatly indebted to hip-hop and its roots.
Love Is a Liability succeeded on multiple levels, the drums among them, but it was also Lustman’s use of vocal samples (largely female ones) that broke open the density and complexity of Lustman’s rhythms. If there were ever challenging moments for the listener on the first record, it was often the overwhelming amount of ideas that went into each track.
Thankfully, this is not the case on Lustman’s second outing, You Stand Uncertain. Many of the elements that made Love Is a Liability such a head-turner are here again—dizzying drum patterns and healthy low-end—but Lustman has cleaned up the excess production from his first record and stretched his rhythmic ideas to be contained across the whole of the record rather than packed chaotically into each track.
What stands out the most however, is Lustman’s arresting use of melody and vocals. On album opener “Gospel of Opal”, featuring frequent dubstep vocal contributor Anneka, Lustman delicately and expertly threads a subtle, yearning ring of a melody through a frothy wash of snare and drums, effortlessly putting Anneka’s voice comfortably in-between. The album’s title track accomplishes a similarly enveloping dynamic, deploying Lustman’s signature syncopation into what sounds like baritone male singers mimicking the track’s bassline.
The women that continue to show up in Lustman’s work, live in-person or sampled, complement the productions on this record in ways they didn’t on his first. And what makes this album cohesive is the balance Lustman has struck between how these female vocals compliment a rhythmic scheme that can easily steal the spotlight.
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