Rustie / Ben Butler & Mousepad @ The Glad Cafe, 18 August
Glasgow’s southside has been crying out for a dedicated independent venue for years, and in the Glad Cafe it has one at last. Tonight is the second of two launch nights, and with a club-oriented bill, topped by a DJ set from local hero Rustie, the versatility of the space receives an early test.
Ben Butler and Mousepad, Joe Howe’s confusingly-named current solo project, builds upon his previous work in Germlin and Gay Against You; the hyperactive, addictive silliness that characterised those acts is still in evidence, coupled with a deceptive complexity underpinning each track. The set runs breathlessly through funk, garage, and cartoonish electronica, reminiscent of Squarepusher’s early material; this rhythmic diversity is offset, however, by Howe’s predilection for dizzily pitch-bent cheesy synths, which are gleefully scattered across the whole.
It’s the perfect complement to a set from Rustie, who shares Howe’s restless, omnivorous love of funk and early rave. Having garnered much critical acclaim for last year’s debut LP Glass Swords, he uses his set tonight to suggest some links between his own brand of dayglo, anthemic dubstep, and hip-hop, techno, house and plenty more besides; shifting from Cajmere’s classic Percolator into his own Ultra Thizz is one of the more inspired moves, emphasising as it does the utterly distinctive and contemporary quality of Rustie’s sound.
It’s enough to overcome the constraints of the gig-style setup, and generates plenty of activity on the dancefloor. At just an hour long, the set leaves the crowd hungry, but that somehow feels appropriate tonight; it’s a brief-but-dazzling display of one southsider’s talent, and represents an extremely promising glimpse of this venue’s potential to bolster Glasgow's music scene.