Rustie - Green Language

by Ethan Ranis Rating:7 Release Date:2014-08-25

Throughout the 90s, Warp Records was known as the home of experimental electronic music, featuring artists that shaped the genre while undergoing near-continuous metamorphoses. What, then, to make of Rustie, one of the label's signature artists for this decade? This second album, a somewhat haphazard mishmash of ambient interludes and clubby bangers, stays squarely within his established MO: reverb-drenched fluorescent synthesizers, boomy 808s and shimmering production.

Most of the work here sounds unfinished in some way or other, more sketches than songs.  'A Glimpse' has a promising sense of portent but ultimately trails off into an arena-rock pastiche.  'Raptor's deep bass and classic-sounding drum machines would fit in at a club, but the track loses steam around halfway through. 'Velcro' is probably the closest to the material on debut album Glass Swords, featuring a bright, showstopping hook over fizzy, distorted keybs.

There's very little about the album that's likely to give offense, give or take one's opinions on frog-throated rappers like Danny Brown and D Double E. Brown's contribution is in his typical manic, high-velocity and hyper-technical style, but it still largely fails to puncture the album's dreamy vibe.  It doesn't help that the backing-track sounds ripped straight from a Lil Jon cut. 'Lost's droning auto-tune balladry could similarly blend seamlessly into modern R&B radio, barring perhaps some of its electro-cheese squiggles.

The problem is that not too much here stands out from the rest of the EDM pack. The ambient interludes are pretty, but inconsequential. As a result, the album's just a sum of its parts, and several of those parts sound recycled. There's nothing egregiously bad about these tracks, just nothing to take note of either.

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