Studio OST Scenes 2012-2015

[Lustwerk; 2016]

Styles: working man’s techno
Others: DJ Richard, Ken Ishii, Actress

Effortless — a word that many people would equate with Galcher Lustwerk’s vibe. And it’s that vibe — charismatic, assured, undeniably groovy — that really sets apart those who have the techno bone in them from those who don’t. No doubt many artists whose first releases are as revered as 100% Galcher would find the resulting pressure and scrutiny taxing — even counter-productive — moving forward. But since that mix, Lustwerk has pushed through, sprinkling his considerable talents among a variety of projects and carefully-curated reissues without losing momentum or seeking to outdo himself.

Studio OST, Lustwerk’s collaboration with equally sure-footed producer Alvin Aronson, fits snugly within both of their techno-focused catalogs. In fact, with the notable omission of Lustwerk’s vocals, the palette and assembly that one would typically associate with both artists is as identifiable as ever. But as the innocuous title suggests, Scenes 2012-2015 is a slight shift of gear from the confidently subtle bangers they’ve previously released. The album’s deft minimalism feels tied to the moment or perhaps within a mix aesthetic, a methodology that’s far from simply setting sequencers and filters in motion and letting them run their course.

Set amongst heaving pads, brief snippets of what sounds like field recordings from Tokyo’s metro on “Unnatural City” and the more abstract interlude of “1 Parsec” evoke the futurist dis-/u-topian duality of Masamune Shirow’s Ghost In The Shell. The duo acknowledge the direct influence of its Kowloon-esque technoid-paradise, as I’m sure many would, which makes it even easier to make parallels to Jeff Mills’s Metropolis or, perhaps on a more fundamental sonic level, the “aquatic dub” of Drexciya or Aphex Twin’s haunting ambient works. But what’s unique and enchanting about Scenes is that it doesn’t feel like an overwrought lament upon humanity’s descent into cyberization, into some kind of post-metropolis Koyaanisqatsi. Rather, Lustwerk and Aronson score their own shared experience of New York City, and one can clearly hear the extent of that particular inspiration.

Scenes 2012-2015 is both isolating and mesmerizing, a natural sibling to the pair of releases under Lustwerk’s Road Hog alias. Here, one isn’t told what to feel about this music, but is instead given ideas on how to navigate its intimate atmosphere, slip in, and then fall deeper… and deeper…

Links: Studio OST - Lustwerk

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