Galcher Lustwerk Information Ghostly International
Since the emergence of his breakout 2013 mixtape, 100% Galcher, Galcher Lustwerk has been walking his own path, bridging smoked-out house music with spoken word narratives that border on free association.
The Cleveland-born producer is an electronic artist who uses his voice as a tool, dishing up nuggets about driving in cars, taking drugs and other threads in life’s rich tapestry. On Information, the New York-based producer’s debut for Ghostly International and third album proper, the character of the vocals takes on new guises. The gnarly deadpan sing-speak on Plainview is more dissonant than we’ve heard before, while Fathomless Irie’s repeated lines favour an even more minimal approach to language, without losing sight of the bold ambiguity that makes Lustwerk’s hip-house interesting. On Bit, organic instrumentation helps the stream-of-consciousness raps to leap onto the stage, anchored by some of the smoothest basslines you’ll hear all year, while Cig Angel’s live drums and I See a Dime’s sax establish a jazz club feel.
Lustwerk has remarked that these are “midwest-minded, ‘hookier’ tracks”, and there’s undoubtedly a melodic sensibility that runs throughout Information. He’s also one of very few producers who can make a reference to vaping on a track and still sound cool: bathed in a bubble bath of his signature swirling, near-psychedelic pads, Overpay, Overstay features a couplet about “smoking a jay/smoking a vape”. At least, that’s what it sounds like anyway.
Galcher Lustwerk has been associated with the lo-fi house phenomenon in the past, but his electronic smarts feel too clear-headed, too slick and – arguably – too indebted to jazz for that label to stick anymore. Instead, Lustwerk’s hook-minded musicality feels destined for wider audiences; a kind of deep sophisti-house that’s ripe for stoners, ravers, hip-hoppers, house heads and anyone turned on by a groove.