We are now officially well into the post-Dubstep phase if you’re bothered to keep up with genre names. In practical terms, this means that no one sound dominates and that more artists are off the leash trying out new directions. Falty DL, aka New York artist Drew Lustman, is widely regarded as one of the first artists to open the door and stride out into new territories for the last two years.
Since the seminal ‘To London’ EP from June 2009, the glitchy groove of 1980’s Electro inspired much of Falty DL’s work. At his best, he captured the zap pow of Bronx warlord Afrika Bambaataa taking on Kraftwerk on ‘Planet Rock’. Over the past twelve months, Falty DL has moved away from the bleeps and beats, slowed down his tempo and added a smooth but soulful element to his music.
As an artist who is obviously well steeped in UK dance music, Falty DL now presents his take on Garage or 2-Step, the sound of urban London circa 1997-98. Jazzy vocals, gently but persistently swinging grooves and layers of chilled out keyboard themes dominate his second album ‘You Stand Uncertain’.
If you are looking for a statement of intent, just check the opening track ‘Gospel Of Opal’ with Anneka on vocals. It certainly brings me back to the classic Garage sounds of MJ Cole and Raw Deal. ‘Waited Patiently’ and the bouncy ‘Brazil’, both featuring Lily MacKenzie on vocals, plus the instrumental title track ‘You Stand Uncertain’ are on the same vibe. The instrumentals on ‘You Stand Uncertain’ stray a bit further from the Garage theme, soaking up a bit of Techno (’The Pacifist’), ambient Drum And Bass (’Open Space’, ‘Lucky Luciano’), but Garage is the glue that keeps the album together.
The selection of tracks is very consistent with Falty DL keeping to the chill out zone for the entire length of the album. What makes ‘You Stand Uncertain’ stand out for me is that the tracks are sequenced in a way that makes the most of what subtle variations there are between tracks. In other words, it’s just like a neat after hours DJ set. Don’t hit ’shuffle’, listen to it like Falty DL intended.