Rustie – Glass Swords

Album Review by Sam Wiseman | 22 Sep 2011
Album title: Glass Swords
Artist: Rustie
Label: Warp
Release date: 10 Oct

As the comical specificity of labels like ‘aquacrunk’ suggests, it’s generally a futile enterprise to attempt to negotiate the bewilderingly diverse and hyperactive world of contemporary UK bass music through generic classifications. Nonetheless, Glasgow’s Numbers scene has added some strikingly distinctive characteristics to the gene pool, shared at least by Rustie and Hudson Mohawke.

Both specialise in a kind of fluorescent, high-BPM dubstep that takes the delirious exuberance of classic rave as its guiding principle. Glass Swords sees Rustie embellish this template with a strong 80s funk influence, realised through the use of slap-bass samples, pitch-bent synth chords and reverb-heavy drums. The assuredness of his touch occasionally places Rustie alongside reverent funk preservationists like Dâm-Funk (see Flash Back, for example); for the most part, however, the tracks here exhibit a characteristic delight in digital excess that renders such comparisons void. Glass Swords may defy categorisation, but it’s all the more compelling for that.

Playing Stereo, Glasgow on 14 Oct