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, Lustman has 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. The other Lily McKenzie collab, “Brazil”, is thrillingly upbeat. From start to finish, You Stand Uncertain is a delight to listen to. For the most part, the music is nothing less than stunning.