Yet not only do the tracks hold up as standalone pieces—not just building blocks but real songs—the album breathes in a way that the mix doesn’t. The fleshed-out tracks suit Lustwerk’s deeply repetitive style; the longer his skeletal drum patterns stretch out, the more consequential the most trivial filter tweak feels. The extended ambient interludes are miniature worlds unto themselves, casting an unearthly glow over the heads-down dancefloor cuts, like the sun coming up over an afterparty in its final throes. Josh Bonati’s remastering job is subtle but significant, bringing out crucial depth and detail without sacrificing the songs’ atmospheric murk, and highlighting the idiosyncrasies of Lustwerk’s production.
Much iconic electronic music boils down to the uniqueness of its palette, and with 100% Galcher, Lustwerk hit upon a mix of sounds and timbres that referenced classic deep-house producers like Larry Heard while still sounding singular, even otherworldly. His drums are dry and grudging, with short sustains and quick decays, offering just enough envelope to reveal each sound’s identity—hissing shaker, crackling woodblock, clipped snare—before letting the surrounding silence swallow it again. His synths, on the other hand, are soft and yielding, morphing like lava lamps between gentle sunrise chords and coolly fluorescent leads. Everything is richly tactile, right down to the coarsely ground purr of his voice.
Lustwerk’s voice is his music’s secret ingredient, reeling off casually rhymed couplets in a way that’s neither intrusive nor reticent. Aside from 1980s hip-house, there’s little tradition of rapping in house music, which meant the terrain was his for the taking. (In a text accompanying the reissue, he credits his signature blend of levitating house beats with short, catchy phrases to a long, stoned night playing Basic Channel records back to back with Juicy J cuts.) His lyrics might not look like much on paper, but to fall under the spell of his sing-song cadence is to dissolve into a lysergic stream-of-consciousness that’s remarkably faithful to the feeling of a long, blurry weekend of clubbing. Lustwerk says that he wrote this music after an intense period of partying with friends in DIY spaces, and those subjects are at the forefront of the songs, which zig-zag from the dancefloor to the driver’s seat to the sidewalk outside the club, an endless circuit settling into a blissfully subdued groove. They’re not so much stories of nights out as staccato visions glimpsed with each flash of the strobe.
But this isn’t party music, exactly. “I wanted to feel like you were tripping, maybe having a bit of heatstroke, or dehydration,” Lustwerk writes of his inspirations for these tracks. “Your body feels detached, your jaw clenched. People become furniture. Light becomes the main character, surfaces show their age in real-time. Wabi-sabi shit.” Those sensations come across in pulsing synths that shimmer like mirages, basslines that seem to hover several feet off the ground, hi-hats that evaporate like sweat off the back of your neck. Despite the frequent references to drugs, these tracks never feel particularly hedonistic: By turns jubilant and brooding, they amount to a snapshot of youthful freedom, encapsulating the fleeting feeling of being independent and unencumbered, with no more pressing concern than which record to put on next. Maybe that’s also why such a powerfully wistful undercurrent runs through the music. You can hear it in the way the chords of “Put On” linger in the air, scented with the sorrowful suggestion of ephemerality. Lustwerk’s defiantly unchanging beats feel charged with the knowledge that every party ends; every high fades. Eventually, the plug gets pulled, and you find yourself on a cracked vinyl seat in the back of a yellow cab, reconstructing disconnected moments already dissolving into memory.
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