- Led by its melodies and caked in odd distortion, Luke Blair's music settles comfortably into the album format. But his most interesting work often appears on his 12-inch singles, where the tension between dance floor origins and a strange, muzzy outcome can be felt more keenly. Crawlers is best understood as a follow-up to 2010-11's Glum singles, rather than 2012's Lonely At The Top, in that it sees Lukid at his leanest and most direct. "Nine"'s banger potential is particularly clear, as evidenced by Evian Christ's sampling of its panicked synths on his recent track "Propeller." There they formed the icing on a hulking hip-hop cake; here the rhythmic chassis is much more unsettled and, of course, elbow-deep in muck.
The results certainly bear out Blair's description of his new sound as "chunky." But, there and in the sprightly "The Brick Burner," that heft is offset with a certain airiness, Blair's taste for weird fidelities meaning that the hi-end whistles like gapteeth and the lows hit with the coddling force of a pillow. Elsewhere this softening tendency wins out. "La Cucaracha"'s rhythmic loops register less as drums than as the rasp of a low-bitrate mp3 artefact. The tip-tap syncopations of "Born In Bosnia," meanwhile, suggest a kind of insectoid UK funky, though its pensive synths dampen the mood a little. Blair's sadsack credentials are well established—on Crawlers it's the brasher moments that stand out.
A2 La Cucaracha
B1 The Brick Burner
B2 Born In Bosnia