- For an artist who was once one of the most hyped in house music, Galcher Lustwerk sure takes his time. He launched his Lustwerk Music label last year with tracks we've known by heart since 2013. Now, the third release on the label, Studio OST's debut album, is a collection of collaborative material that dates back to 2012. That slow-and-steady pace matches Lustwerk's music. He makes house that, with its long, exhaling chords and patient rhythms, evokes the steady cruise of idly driving down the freeway, something Lustwerk has explored in his Road Hog project.
Scenes 2012-2015 is the latest product of that patient method. The album collects tracks made in various studios with Alvin Aronson, who is emerging as the star of White Material's "second wave." Aronson's still figuring out his sound, but his steely approach to techno complements Lustwerk's style wonderfully. The two artists deliver an album that feels easy and comfortable, like a peek into casual sessions between friends who can lock into their groove effortlessly.
We've already heard one Aronson and Lustwerk collaboration: last year's "Brain Gray," where Lustwerk's fingerprints were hard to suss out. Their teamwork is more apparent on Scenes 2012-2015, pairing Aronson's slippery rhythms with Lustwerk's overcast atmospheres. Maybe the most obvious combination is "Above The Waves," where resonant techno chords rub against jazzy Rhodes and a bumping bassline. But Lustwerk dominates on "Unnatural City" and "Bent Light," which are full of his bleary chords and lazy melodies that are impossible not to get swept up in.
Tracks like "Speed City" and "ITCZ" show a different side of Studio OST. They sound like the two artists playing off each other in real time, pulling elements in and out as they see what works and what doesn't. "ITCZ," one of the album's highlights, feels slightly off-the-cuff. At one point, a discordant keyboard comes in for one wobbly line, never to return again. Moments like these add to the album's candid feel, as do gorgeous interludes like "1 Parse," or the closing track, "Whitesands," whose grotty drums and mournful synths recall early Aphex Twin.
By the end, Scenes 2012-2015 feels like a hodgepodge of pleasant ideas. It's not a major work for either artist, but it's not meant to be; it all sounds like two friends having fun in the studio, making low-pressure, laidback jams. It's lovely to follow along with them, even if they aren't really going anywhere in particular.
02. Speed City
03. Above the Waves
04. Bent Light
06. Unnatural City
07. 1 Parsec