It isn’t very often that I am awestruck by an album. For something to hold my attention and then beat it mercilessly with enjoyment and wonder is even more unlikely. I like to pride myself on patience, absorbing an album, but for Glass Swords the payoff is immediate. Hyperbole is likely to be the only mode of communication in this review. It feels necessary considering Rustie’s full length debut does not lend itself to a particular style or genre. And since you probably could care less about me geeking out over this album, I will do my best to keep my journalistic integrity intact for this review… maybe.
The album opens with “Glass Swords”, an intro drenched in hazy guitar that sparkles with electronic fluctuations and airy synths. Its a cool little tune that brings us into “Flashback”, a crystalline track that bounces along to a deep funky bass line. Videogame-like synths warp around with pockets of vocal samples rounding out the sound. “Flashback” is a great example of the brick wall production style Rustie utilizes on Glass Swords. So many interesting sounds and details are being thrown at you all at once and it just sounds great. Next up is “Surph” which features jaw dropping Lex Luger-esque drum sequencing and heavy dance-floor tones. “Hover Traps” sounds like the opening to Seinfeld then transforms into a swirling candy coated dance track that is as catchy as any Top 40 track you’ll hear. The most flattering thing about that comparison is that Rustie doesn’t dumb down his music. The hip hop flip on the next track “City Star” is stunning. Once again we get a trap music-influenced beat but Rustie makes it his own. The drops in this song are unreal and some of the best I’ve heard. I can’t stop playing this song. The liquid trance of “Globes” leads us into the first single from the album “Ultra Thizz”. The track opens with a simple dance routine then explodes into signature Rustie synth attacks and pitched vocals. Its definitely one of the most excellently crafted songs you’ll hear this year. Skipping ahead a bit to “All Nite”, we are treated to what sounds like a lost Daft Punk track. Though the Daft Punk styling is upfront never once does it come across as plagiarism, as Rustie uses drops and heavy warping to claim it. The album finishes off with the 16-bit sounding “Crystal Echo”. Pittering and pattering through the speakers the final track on the album whizzes by. That was one hell of a trip. Bravo Rustie.
It’s pretty much the album version of the Stargate.
Bottom Line: From the artwork to the music, Rustie’s Glass Swords is a breath of fresh air in electronic music and music in general. Its fair to liken it to a seminal album like Daft Punk’s Discovery. Its highly original and full of life. This is some exciting stuff. More importantly it is unadulterated fun sans the laziness that usually comes with dance music. You won’t want to leave the colorful gangsta videogame epic that is Glass Swords. Rustie gets my highest recommendation, Buy it!!!
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