FaltyDL, Straight & Arrow

[Ninja Tune]

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Earlier this month, FaltyDL let off this tweet: “Not that anyone will find this interesting: Never thought I made garage, thought it was Broken Beat, didn’t want to argue with Journalists.” Now, he generally comes with jokes on Twitter and I laugh, but I’m not sure that he was kidding with this one. In a lot of ways, that encapsulates the young New York producer’s career thus far — shunning genre tags with relative ease, whether consciously or not, and remaining a cut removed from his “bass music”-plying contemporaries. “Straight & Arrow” is the lead single from his forthcoming full-length, Hardcourage, and once again Drew Lustman has flipped the formula. The buoyancy is most immediate. Whereas most of his previous work reveled in mirth, “Straight” plops out the gate with a messy synth run that burns itself out in about a minute, immediately giving way to a vocal sample. Chopped to the point of masking the source, it plays like a spectral Marvin Gaye. It’s haunting, given its nonchalance and how easily those tunneling “ooooo”s are liable to get stuck in your head. The track is labeled as a radio edit and only runs for three and a half minutes, so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out in the album format, given a bit more room to breathe.

Three producers take a crack at remixes, all providing predictable returns that one could grossly approximate prior to hearing from name recognition alone. This isn’t a bad thing. Four Tet’s reworking plays like the exact inverse of the original. Lustman’s sample is left unaltered over a bare-bones pitter patter before launching into a spray of astral discord. It sways in an aggressively drunken manner, but never boils over despite teetering closely. Gold Panda takes the most liberty with the cool croon, wiping away any real resemblance in favor of something that somehow winds up being more vaporous than the original. But it’s “ballroom” upstarts Mike Q and Divoli S’vere who come with the real head-turner here. Amidst the relative weightlessness of the former mentions, the pair liberally drop that sharp piston jab that has emerged as their calling card, tighten the handclaps, and arrive at something near violent, liable to invoke those dance floor convulsions they clearly aim to incite. As a whole, the remix pack is shaped around a foolproof vocal snippet, and there’s enough breadth in the selections as to lend something for everyone. At the very least, it serves as a single in the traditional sense, a taste of direction from an artist that rarely seems to pay much heed to direction.

ComfyCozy  on November 21, 2012 at 6:06 AM

I like where he’s going though he clearly is not there yet (313). New tune fore Hemlock is very much in the same vein.

Per Bojsen-Moller  on November 23, 2012 at 5:50 AM

That Four Tet remix is incredible, love the Pharoah Sanders samples at the start

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