Review of “Glass Swords” By Rustie



Artist: Rustie
Title: Glass Swords
Record Label: Warp
Rating: 7.5

Once in a blue moon you happen upon a musician or producer who is the master of a clearly unique, personally owned sound. The Scotland-hailing Rustie takes this concept to a new level.

After Warp Records released Rustie’s ‘Sunburst’ EP in 2010, the debut LP by the artist has now arrived. ‘Glass Swords’ takes divergent sounds and unifies them— wailing guitar riffs, soft R&B vocals plus electro-crunk and the kind of rave anthems that transport you back in time to the late-90s warehouse party circuit (as on “Death Mountain”).

Consistently raw and power-packed, songs run from a minute to four minutes each. Very clean production comparable to 21st century radio pop while balanced with experimental underground sounds.

“Glass Swords” (title track) begins the trip, a sparkling amped-up journey of psychedelic guitar riffs and electronic bass undertones. “Hover Traps” centres in on a soul bass riff then layers it with flamboyant progressive trance elements. Rustie’s trademark trickster gnome vocal samples also sneak in on the track.

As ‘Glass Swords’ progresses, we run into the cleverly arranged “Ultra Thizz” which places samples ranging through electronic percussion and handclaps, emotionally embracing vocals and videogame gunfire.

“All Nite” is catchy like a pop number with creative vision— through a perfect combination of independent audio riffs. Diverse electronic rhythms on the song exist interdependently and cohesively (like a musical ecosystem).

Use of the “All Nite” vocal sample appears like foreshadowing on “Flash Back” (song two on the album); this demonstrates the care, thought and wisdom put into this record taking around two years of work to arrive. And that sounds good.

Sarah Ferguson

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