Drew Lustman, aka FaltyDL, grew up in Connecticut and after flunking out of college by doing too many drugs, was lucky enough to have his early music signed by Mike Paradinas, aka µ-Ziq, for Planet Mu Records in the UK. He moved to New York and began making mutated garage-influenced stuff, bringing in grime, dubstep, house and broken beat influences into his sound as it progressed and he became a favourite of the blogosphere and won supporters such as Thom Yorke from Radiohead and Flying Lotus.
'Hardcourage', his latest album for Ninja — his third — has come out more freeform than previous works. DJ Mag suggests to Falty that there's a definite 90s electronica feel to the album, and has anyone pointed out any soundalikes to him? “Not specifically to me,” he says. “Any thoughts?”
Well... 'Stay I'm Changed' chimes like an early Black Dog piece before drafting in complex percussion, while 'Straight & Arrow' has emerged like a jazzy Higher Intelligence Agency slo-jam. 'Uncea' glistens with an ambient Orbital offcut sensibility, and 'For Karme' chimes like agrarian techno groovers Ultramarine. 'Kenny Rolls One' is diffuse funk-jazz that Ninja artist Funki Porcini might've emitted, and 'Re-Assimilate' is floaty, choral and really rather gorgeous. But this isn't just some 90s throwback, as Falty has overlaid a 21st century filter to all of these tracks
He pulled the album together in the same way as previous ones, with the help of suggestions from others, he says. “There was no greater concept here then the usual need to make music, so I can feel like a normal human being.”
Falty says he found it hard to narrow down his Take 10 choice to just ten tracks. He wanted to also include Dego McFarlane from 4-Hero's 2000Black remix of his own 'She Sleeps', describing it as “the best gift you could ever receive, it's pure class. It's also spawned a friendship, and I will be releasing some tunes on his label in the new year.” But there was no space...
Miles Davis 'So What' (straight up album version from 'Kind Of Blue')
“Like a few of the artists on this list, picking a favourite song was like deciding which orgasm in my life was the best. Hard to say. 'So What' is a well-known Miles track and for that I may lose cool points, but my rare recordings at the Fillmore East in 1973 may go over a few heads. It's all about Bill Evens for me to be honest, less about Miles. And 'Cannonball... he makes it all way too effortless. But that's all been said before. Immerse yourself in this whole album.”
Aphex Twin 'Nannou 2'
“I'm guessing Aphex recorded this album between the ages of 25-30, or thereabouts. I am so critical of my own work, I can't even listen to my own music after I have made it. I hate all my albums and most of my singles for at least a year, post-release. Point is, 'Drukqs' was and still remains my favorite album — an ideal to achieve in electronic music. I'm turning 30 in a few months and I have not made anything even remotely close to as good as this album, and probably never will. It's a harsh reality for a competitive person. 'Nannou 2' is a perfect ending to the album, and I have ended many sets with it as well.”
Wagon Christ 'Sci-Fi Staircase'
“Luke is such a G. I've been lucky enough to go record shopping with Luke Vibert a few times, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of records — especially for someone as constantly lifted as he is. Anyways, he reminds me that music is fun and not to take things too seriously. Much has been said about him being the unsung hero from Cornwall: I think the heads that really know, know it has always been about his productions and influence on his peers. This track is just gorgeous. Not to mention the remix competition of this track where Aphex entered under a different name and won it.”
µ-Ziq 'Goodbye, Goodbye'
“Mike Paradinas, for such a funny strange guy he has a way of completely draining his emotional content out into his music. I envy that, I don't think he holds back at all. He def didn't on this track. The album is so-so, which he would admit, but this track is too much. There's a sample in it that Boards Of Canada also used — I forget on what track — but it's just super late-90s IDM in its purist emo form. Love it. Also, Mike is like a father figure for me in music. First guy to really take notice of my music, and for that I am always grateful for his attention.”
James Brown 'Since You Been Gone'
“Funk power. “Since you been gone, I been staying in the chapel every night.” Hu hu hu huh! Take your funk and fuck off, this is the real shit.”
Moodymann 'I Need You So Much'
“I actually got a woman to fall in love with me to this song, so relax — it doesn't get better then this, you have found it. Moodymann is basically a band leader on this album, and this track shows he can do it all, not just sample soul.”
Theo Parrish 'Slowly Surely'
“I just opened for Skream at Webster Hall in NYC last weekend, 1500 people all wanting 'dubstep' and I played this song in its entirety — 'cause fuck them! I want kids to know there is more out there. By minute seven they were all dancing, it was emotional. It's an Ugly Edit, the voicemail recording in the beginning is dope. It's a fully realized Theo track, in all my sets.”
Mos Def 'Umi Says'
“It's a Plastic People tune. I made an edit and it goes off. But I think this was just a freestyle that Mos recorded. This one's for you.”
Horsepower Productions 'Gorgon Sound'
“This made me want to make 2-step. This track right here, hearing it at Dubwar in 2006 in New York made me want to make this kind of music. For about two years straight it was all I listened to, breathed and slept too. Actually it got pretty crazy, my obsession with this music. There is so much soul in this track, the swing and the attitude is so rude. You absolutely can not emulate this sound like they did. Benny Ill for president!
Juggaknots 'Generally' (Live on WKRP in NYC)
“Breezly Brewin... at his best right here, it's a freestyle. The beat is too much. My iTunes says it is my most played tune, so here it is. Youtube it or something.”
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