The enigmatic house artist delivers his finest album yet.
Even aside from being a rapper and a house artist—a hip-house artist, you might even say—Lustwerk has always done things differently from others. Since he debuted five years ago on White Material, the label founded by his friends DJ Richard and Young Male, he's maintained a rate of production that belies his chilled demeanor, keeping up steady output under his main alias while also making music as Road Hog and Studio OST, a duo with Alvin Aronson. He's never seemed completely at home in dance music's standard formats—that is, vinyl albums and EPs. As Road Hog, his format of choice is the self-released, digital only mini-album, of which he's put out about one every year (the last of which, Spares, dropped in February). As Galcher Lustwerk, his biggest release to date remains 100% Galcher, a podcast for Blowing Up The Workshop that swiftly earned him a cult following when it dropped in 2013.
Lustwerk described 100% Galcher as "some tracks and stems from 2012 compiled into a promomix." Though unmixed, 200% Galcher is similar in its unfussy delivery. Arriving less than a year after Dark Bliss, his first proper album, it bundles ten new tracks with ten instrumentals and "short edits." This casual utilitarianism suits the music itself. Everything about these tracks exudes nonchalance, from the lazy saxes and floaty synth leads, to the easygoing, in-the-pocket grooves, delivered in clean and simple drum sounds.
Then there are Lustwerk's daydreamy raps, which you imagine him ad-libbing while horizontal on a couch, joint smoldering in an ashtray nearby. His lyrics are more subtle and mysterious this time around, without the jokey element of past records. Instead of spliffs on catamarans, we get surreal streams of consciousness with varying degrees of coherency. Some are fairly topical, like "Wristbands," "Life," and "Rules Meant To Be Broken" (which deserves props for including what is presumably the first rap lyric about the Allen & Heath Xone:92 mixer). Others are more mumbly and vague, like "Template" or "This N' That," which basically just goes "This n', this n' / That, that / This n', this n' / That," and so on.
Beyond being handy for DJs, the instrumentals prove that Lustwerk's music stands up without his vocals. Still, this album, like all of his music, owes much of its depth and personality to his elliptical rhymes and the suave persona conjure in your imagination. For my money, these two sides of his sound find easier harmony here than they ever have before, thanks to the chiller vibe of the beats and the off-the-cuff simplicity of the raps. Galcher Lustwerk is one of the few artists out there with a style you can call unique. 200% Galcher gives us the best iteration of that style so far.
Mon / 25 Jun 2018
03. See You When I See You
04. Blue Lotus
08. Rules Meant To Be Broken
09. This N' That
10. Warm Cake
11. Wristbands (Instrumental)
12. Life (Instrumental)
13. See You When I See You (Instrumental)
14. Template (Instrumental)
15. Niggas (Instrumental)
16. Idhouse (Instrumental)
17. Rules Meant To Be Broken (Instrumental)
18. Wristbands (Edit)
19. Life (Edit)
20. See You When I See You (Edit)