NYC's FaltyDL emerged from the post-everything ferment that gripped the dance music world in the late '00s. As such his LPs have always been multi-faceted affairs, and his third, Hardcourage, looks set to further extend the effortless trans-genre alchemy he's known for. Straight & Arrow, the lead single from the LP, undoubtedly occupies the more digestible end of the producer's output, and the three-and-a-half minute "radio edit" supplied here lends weight to the notion that this release has its sights set far beyond the underground. It sees Lustman exploring the deluxe slow-mo house template previously showcased in (among others) the Endeavor EP: the usual refracted vocal melisma over a leisurely shuffle, propped up with robust, detailed snare work, lazy claps and shaker loops. It's tightly executed, sure, but after an opening salvo of Floating Points-esque melodics we detour into more aimless territory: a case, sadly, of gradually diminishing returns.
A healthy cast of remixers help to bulk out proceedings. Four Tet reintroduces some structural coherence by stretching his version across seven minutes of tension and release. The first half sees the revered producer in old-school mode, extracting heartstring-tugging whimsy from his source material, before things regroup around an itchy synth loop at the midpoint; a neat trick, but one that lacks the flair found on other recent remix work. Gold Panda, meanwhile, supplies a typically twinkly retooling: the delicate sprays of bell-like tones are pleasant, the pitched-down vocal sample less so; inspiration seems to run out after a minute or two. Thankfully, NY Ballroom figurehead Mike Q and collaborator Divoli S'Vere provide a breath of fresh air, dropping the original's vocal samples over a lean percussive framework to storming effect—the perfect counterpoint to Falty's cultivated opulence.
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Tracklist: FaltyDL - Straight And Arrow 01. Straight & Arrow (Radio Edit)
02. Straight & Arrow (Four Tet Remix)
03. Straight & Arrow (Mike Q & Divoli S'vere Remix)
04. Straight & Arrow (Gold Panda Remix)