Rustie, Zig-Zag


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Rustie’s rise to (relative) fame in 2008 was swift to say the least. Alongside fellow Glaswegian Hudson Mohawke, Joker, and Zomby, he is one of the leading lights of a not-dubstep style whose name is most frequently given as wonky, although sometimes more creatively as aquacrunk, among other things. Hallmarks of this style are dubstep-ish beats combined with raging synth lines and crossed with influences ranging from laptop folk to trance to hip hop. Forgive me if that sounds a bit complex, but the kitchen sink approach of these producers results in something that’s hard to describe using the conventional language of dance music. Grooves and riffs are often inseparable: the messy confusion of many different rhythmic and melodic elements is one of the mainstays of the style’s appeal.

Rustie’s “Zig-Zag” has been widely hailed as one of the cornerstones of the new dubstep, and received a one side only release on Glasgow’s electro/wonky/what-have-you Wireblock label. Although I haven’t yet had the apparently mind boggling experience of hearing it on a huge system, even through my humble monitors it is readily apparent “Zig-Zag” is built to overwhelm and awe. There are only two simple ingredients: an intricate rhythm that seems to change constantly and a synth line that feels like a synthesizer has just been thrown into the bath with you. At a hair under four minutes, “Zig-Zag” is a brief and bright explosion of sound. It goes for maximum immediate effect, achieves it, and fucks off again just as quickly. If there’s one problem with the electronic wizardry of wonky, it’s that there’s a huge amount of impact, but sometimes little being said. Still, that’s nit-picking. It’s early days for this style; and even if these boys permanently prefer to leave their heartstring-tuggers at home, it’s still a wild ride and a must have for anyone who enjoyse roller coasters, raves, and fun.

Pass the Stripe  on January 13, 2009 at 4:03 AM

Rustie = #1.

Can’t decide if Zig Zag or Bad Science is his best track from last year…

Sam  on January 13, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Love this! More like it please…

harpomarx42  on January 13, 2009 at 8:06 PM

This sounds like dubstep for Deadmau5/Eric Prydz fans.

RAW  on January 14, 2009 at 7:20 AM

While Zig Zag is clearly a unique and interesting track I actually think Rustie’s best stuff is when he’s being a bit more accesible.

His remix of Zomby’s ‘Spliff Dub’, The Jagz the Smack EP & his work as part of Voltaic (Abyss in particular) are all superb.

colin s  on January 14, 2009 at 10:37 AM


come on, has Deadmaus ever done anything even vaguely as experimental as this?


Think I agree with that actually. For all his wizardry, Rustie also knows how to make tracks with a bit more soul.

harpomarx42  on January 14, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Meh, it’s just so annoying IMO.

Adamm  on January 15, 2009 at 9:33 AM

quick question – what makes this dubstep? to me it’s just wonky, experimental hip hop similar to flying lotus. I love this stuff I just don’t see the correlation, because to me I don’t hear the dub aesthetics commonly found in dubstep and the like.

Sam  on January 15, 2009 at 10:28 AM

Adamm – i second that!

colin s  on January 15, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Don’t think I did call it dubstep. In fact I called it wonky, aquacrunk, and ‘the new dubstep’. As it is, I’m not sure if I rate ‘wonky’ as a name very much, especially because some of the tracks are further from each other than they are from dubstep.

At any rate, murky waters here , which is why I quite carefully avoided callin it anything. (I think)

JadedEvan  on January 15, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Awesome track. I agree with some other comments about questioning what makes this dubstep. Either way, I really dig on the sound.


Little White Earbuds January Charts - Little White Earbuds  on May 31, 2009 at 1:16 AM

[…] (buy) 09. Chaton, “+91 Ahead” (Agnès Kingston-Geneva Rework) [Plak Records] (buy) 10. Rustie, “Zig-Zag” [Wireblock] […]

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