Rustie, Green Language

Anupa Mistry

By Anupa Mistry

on 08.25.14 in Reviews

Three years after Glass Swords, Rustie’s muscular first album for Warp, the young Glaswegian producer has developed a new set of powers. On its follow-up Green Language, he flashes a new restraint that tempers his bombast to brilliant effect.

Showing off a new set of powers

Rustie is a singular musician. He’s transcended SoundCloud-god status and outwitted the hype machine by steering clear of consumptive remixes, reinventing musical trends and incorporating analog synths and samples of live instruments into his music. Green Language is a sonic ferment in which Rustie dabbles in a variety of styles — airless DJ Mustard-style “ratchet” rap, crystalline Night Slugs synths, ruthless gabber. Danny Brown, who brought Rustie’s production to his 2013 album Old, even shows up on “Attak,” and takes the mostly instrumental album by siege. His rapping, which wavers between gut-wrought bluster and demented squawk, complements Rustie’s deft ferocity (as he raps, the duo “got the game on lock like we changed the key”). Every hard left is executed with instinctual funkiness, and a masterful grasp of dynamics — important when you’re making music this emphatic and loud. “Raptor,” one of the album’s best songs, lurches confidently, like a candy-painted Impala blasting off into space.

But it’s the more serene stuff that gives the 13 tracks on Green Language a glorious, exalting energy. This album was recorded during early mornings in remote Scotland, and it sounds inspired by the contemplative surroundings and quiet riot of nature. Nature as projected by a holodeck, that is. Rhythms dither unpredictably and explode into quiet. On “A Glimpse,” blown-out bass perforates steady tinkling mimicking the churn of waves, and “Paradise Stone” is all woodsy luminescent mallet synths. These quieter minutes provide a brief calm, flecked with gorgeous digitized birdsong. On “Up Down,” these chintzy chirrups mellow out the pinched, cut-glass flow of grime rapper D Double E. Rustie’s still a young god, but now he’s at one with the world.