Maybe it was the superlative nature of his debut, Glass Swords, that led to the expectation surrounding Rustie’s second long player for Warp Records, Green Language, being so monumental. The Glaswegian producer, aka Russell Whyte, has made a follow up that, in his words (or at least those of the press release) “reflects his early love of shoegaze, grime, trance and Dirty South hip-hop”. Certainly, there’s less of the sloppy disco funk beats and boundless energy that marked his debut out for greatness, replaced by flitting through ideas and forms and beats and genres.
Rustie relies on vocal guests for his assualt on the really big tracks, with the brilliant Attak single featuring Danny Brown a highlight with its wonky beats and Browns similarly wonky rhyming making it essential listening, especially when these bass beats thump through the mix. He Hate Me, with Face Varga, and Lost, with Redinho, both have these melting, shimmering accompaniments and these shifting beats that roam free from the beat at almost all times it seems. There’s nothing wrong with either, but its Rustie’s beats that are the stars on show here.
Elsewhere on the record, highlights come thick and fast, some being no more than ideas or layers within songs, some being the songs themselves. Glimpse is such a track, swirling and light hearted, it cascades over you ears with its warm beats and probably serves as the emotional strong point of the record, even as it veers left with an indie rock codetta. There’s something of the charming about Velcro, as it mixes up these analogue/8bit keyboard sounds with this rattling percussion and deep bass, while the title track is frankly beautiful.
Maybe its an ideas record. Certainly Green Language is full of them, with raptor a study in dynamics and ambience, and Tempest sees Rustie cutting up guitars and almost heavy rock to create something new and inventive.
It’s not Glass Swords, it’s a different sort of brilliant. And that’s fine with us.