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09 Feb 10
21 Jan 13
Broken Beat/Nu Jazz/Nu Soul
Played by: Mike O'mara(Development Music), Roberto Rodriguez, Peet, Juno Recommends Brokenbeat/Nu Jazz, Starkey, Cosby (Car Crash Set)
Review: There's always been something a little loved-up about the scattergun, genre-bending productions of New York's Drew Lustman, AKA Falty DL. Yet previously, his desire to fuse cutting-edge rhythms with vintage rave references sometimes got in the way. Hardcourage, his first full-length for independent behemoths Ninja Tune, takes a more 'softly-softly' approach. Whereas his last full-length, 2011's You Stand Uncertain, was a kaleidoscopic invitation to start the dance, Hardcourage gently beckons you towards a loving embrace. While there are still plenty of skittish rhythms present, they're wrapped up in a warm orange glow - all serotonin-soaked chords, cascading melodies, bluesy vocal samples and near-Balearic compositions. In many ways it's a startling about-turn, but one that comes heartily recommended.
20 Aug 12
Review: There's always an air of uncertainty that hovers around a fresh Falty DL release before you set it off and submit your ears to it. Drew Lustman has adopted a chameleonic trajectory since first emerging just five years ago in the midst of a dubstep scene he didn't really fit in with. The cheeky old-skool stylings of a Ninja Tune sleeve last seen on a release back in 1993 give a fairly clear pointer of where this release is headed, and "Hardcourage" as a track is certainly not short of back-in-the-day reference points. Once a deceptive 4/4 thud lead in gets brushed aside, the centrepiece of the EP emerges; a rattling, metallic snare that seems so light as to buffet on the thermals given off by the immersive sub. Said snare is an instant evocation of early breakbeat, and when it works in conjunction with that domineering bass you can almost hear the light bulbs pinging for the inception of jungle all over again. "Our House Stab" works itself up to being a marginally more forthright beast, although the submerged strings and measured jack of the start of the track would have you thinking otherwise. Again the sub bass is king, pulsing with a shapeless quality that only accentuates the dreaminess that permeates this EP. While the source material is instantly recognisable, you simply can't argue with the care and grace with which Lustman uses it, giving the music a greater purpose than simple rave fodder.
08 Jun 09
Played by: Shadow Dancer
25 Mar 09
Drum And Bass
11 Feb 13
Review: "She Sleeps" made for a welcome surprise on Hardcourage, Falty DL's recent Ninja Tune released album, calling on Friendly Fires vocalist Ed McFarlane to add his immediately recognisable warbles to a glistening production. It's obvious single material - with the radio edit here adding further credence - and the wonderful original is further complemented by several big name remixes. Two of Lustman's fellow New York dwellers in the form of Gang Gang Dance and Ital contribute, the former adding unforeseen layers of ecstasy to McFarlane's vocals amidst a clopping beat and tropically infused melodic lead, whilst Ital goes in entirely the opposite direction, turning in a sludgy, strung out malfunctioning slab of techno. Meanwhile, 4Hero's Dego goes deep under his 2000Black alias; in his hands "She Sleeps" gets transformed into a wondrously bubbling analogue funker, not sounding dissimilar to the kind of soulful futurism Gifted & Blessed is noted for. Check the Martyn remix too, which retains only the line "I know that it's evil" from McFarlane's vocals; a neat trick that infers the sonic intent that the Dutchman crafts around it.
12 Nov 12
Review: On the basis of the material FaltyDL has released with Ninja Tune thus far, his forthcoming third album Hardcourage should rank as one of the more interesting albums to surface in the first quarter of next year. Following the excellent throwback styles of "Hardcourage", the New Yorker showcases his seemingly endless palette of styles with "Straight & Narrow", a wonderfully colourful and vivid sounding production. Dominated by some deft vocal chopping, it's the way these cooing elements intertwine with the beguiling synth noodling and crisp almost handclap style beats that resonates deeply. Ballroom duo Mike Q and Divoli S'vere naturally latch onto the most obvious elements in the vocals and clapped beats, laying them atop a breathlessly frenetic rhythmic mainframe, Four Tet hogs the flip with a dewy eyed, slowly percolating seven minute remix that will tug at the heart strings of his legion of fans, while Gold Panda delivers a typically prismatic reworking that outdoes Hebden's effort in the melody stakes.
14 Mar 11
UK Funky/UK Garage
Review: The title of Drew 'FaltyDL' Lustman's sophomore album could easily be a cheeky swipe at genre-obsessed reviewers; it's true that many have found it hard to categorize his far-sighted take on electronic music. While firmly rooted in dubstep and electronica, Lustman's music has always taken in a dizzying array of musical influences. Add to this a skip-load worth of great ideas and a distinctive production sound that marks out dance music's greats, and it's easy to see why Lustman's music has got critics in a spin. On You Stand Uncertain, he's stepped up his game. If anything, he's cast his net even wider, throwing two-step garage, UK funky, jazz, ambient, slow house, old fashioned rave and ARP 101-ish synth jams into his musical melting pot. It still sounds like a FaltyDL record (those weird slowed-down vocal samples, quaint musical touches and sneaky cut-ups are still present), but it feels like he's moved from standard definition into glorious, crystal clear HD. Aside from the usual array of brilliant instrumentals - check the floor-friendly future rave anthem "Lucky Luciano", two-step rinse-out "Tell Them Stories", 808 State-sampling "Open Space" or picturesque slow house bliss of "Tell Them Stories" - Lustman has included his first full vocal outings. These are invariably excellent, with the opening and closing tracks - "Gospel of Opal", featuring Anelka, and "Waiting Patiently", featuring Lily McKenzie - perfectly demonstrating his ability to write next-level, emotion-rich electronic music. From start to finish, You Stand Uncertain is a delight to listen to.