- Rustie's maiden appearance in Dublin finally came to pass at the long-running MUD night. The Friday night event at Twisted Pepper has always booked the best in bass and funky with Rustie's expansive, sub-heavy adrenalin rushes being theoretically well-suited to the night's traditional feel. On this occasion, though, the Glaswegian producer was to play The Stage room rather than the more usual basement venue, a sign that things would perhaps be a little different to the expected MUD experience.
Irish clubbing is inherently hampered by the country's licensing laws but, while sets are rarely as long as one might find on the continent, Rustie's scheduled slot was short even by local standards. Given that so much was to be slammed into such a short space of time, The Stage was suitably stuffed and boiling by the time the Glasgow producer took his place behind the laptop shortly after 1:30 AM. Maybe all the guys in oversized tank tops had the right idea.
In the end, the short slot was a non-issue. While Rustie's music has practically always been aural thrill-seeking, this set was more along the lines of being punched repeatedly in the face rather than any kind of roller-coaster ride. While Glass Swords' non-stop, hands-in-the-air bliss is enhanced by the odd moment of quietude; the break before the inevitable build to ecstasy and release, Rustie's live approach is considerably less refined. Minor annoyances like builds, variations and form are swapped out in favour of ever more bombastic drops and synth sweeps. It's a sledgehammer treatment for the ears and it goes down a storm with those who are up for it.
The sound system in The Stage Room is fantastic but was driven to its limits by Rustie, who pushed mercilessly at the ultra-highs and lows of the spectrum. Every recognizable fizzing synthesizer line from the album was greeted with a cheer and some dazzling lights before the sub came crashing in once again. The album tracks were alternated with snippets of half-tempo cloud rap and R&B, each of which set the room to lurching. Even Drake made an appearance, which was either perfectly sensible or utterly out of place, depending on your persuasion.
It's hard to criticize an event like this, where 95 percent of people in the room are quite clearly having the time of their lives. It's the blunt force that's hard to take, though. When the hooks are stripped of the texture that gives them context and feeling, they become meaningless. It's just beat after beat after beat with no development, which robs the Scotsman of his obvious production talent and ear for track-building. The most manic, ADD-leaning tendencies of Rustie's musical mind were allowed to run free and the result was, inevitably, something of a mess.