Monday, 19 July 2010

RECOMMENDED: FaltyDL - Phreqaflex EP [Planet Mu]

As insanely prolific as Drew Lustman is, it’s still been possible to trace a definite forward shift in his music, between the glassy urban surfaces of last year’s excellent Love Is A Liability long-player and Bravery’s cooler, more reflective ambience (and again between this year’s housey All In The Place EP and this new release for Planet Mu). Phreqaflex is the first of two new 12” releases for the label, showcasing the two-step side of his musical persona before the slower moves of Endeavour. And it’s both instantly recognisable as FaltyDL – it’s nigh on impossible to mistake a Lustman production for anything else, what with his fragmented grasp of melody and the distinctive swish of his hi-hats – and a definite progression, experimenting with downcast moods and a strikingly coherent sense of pace. All three tracks are short, pensive and exist in a peculiar vacuum, as though viewed inside the modern equivalent of a snowglobe.

The title track has been appearing in sets here and there over the last few months, and it’s the closest Falty’s productions have come to the sort of dark swing pioneered by the likes of El-B and Horsepower Productions. Still, where those early tracks were marked by an almost total absence of light, ‘Phreqaflex’ is set in a car speeding through the cosmopolitan night, lit up with streaks of halogen light and the odd fragment of music spilling from the doors of local bars. ‘Because You’ is set in the same twilit landscape but is beset by a deep, unnerved sense of melancholy, as though reeling from the aftermath of an sudden and unexpected break-up. That narrative is made more explicit in final track ‘My Friends Will Always Say’, led by a supremely lonely vocal and jazzy, In A Silent Way-esque key work, bringing an end to a tantalisingly brief experience. Here’s hoping for album number two soon; there are very few producers out there operating with Lustman’s sheer consistency.

Words: Rory Gibb
Out: 26th July


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