This New York-based producer moves fluidly between drum & bass, dubstep, deep house, and UK garage on his latest full-length.
New York-based producer FaltyDL (Drew Lustman) is one of the most prominent American artists working within the boundaries of the UK bass scene. Lustman is a stylistic nomad, but he rarely settles on just one scene or sound. While genre wonks will have no trouble cherrypicking the elements of Lustman’s sound– drum & bass, dubstep, deep house, UK garage– it’s difficult to determine what basket any individual moment falls into. You Stand Uncertain is that rare album whose influences seem obvious and simultaneously difficult to pin down on any one given track.
The effect is sometimes schizophrenic: the best track on Uncertain is the last one, “Waited Patiently”. It features an otherworldly low-end, jazzy piano chords, ratcheted, clacking snares, sampled soul vocals, and Lily McKenzie’s decidedly more modern R&B croon. In other words, it’s genre signifier on top of genre signifier. All of this speaks to an urge to definitively label something that is neither necessary nor particularly healthy. But I would like to convey that Uncertain is both familiar and frustrating, possibly because Lustman’s imagination sometimes outstrips his range, possibly because he so ably incorporates these sounds but owns them only infrequently.
Lustman’s drums remain at the core of his sound; they are usually quick, often syncopated. They patter shallowly, never reaching down to punch you in the ribs. When this is paired with a female voice– a frequent counterpoint for Lustman– it effects a harsh, sour R&B sound that can be both exciting and off-putting. I love the pacing of “Brazil”, and I can lose myself in its patient urban blues, but the coiled, digitized diva blurts that punctuate the track snap me back to reality.
by Andrew Gaerig
MARCH 24 2011
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