It’s easy to see why Lustwerk is a phenomenon in dance-music circles.
Information is Galcher Lustwerk’s upgrade to Ghostly International, home of big-font festival-slayers like Tycho and Com Truise, and it has all the hallmarks of an album by an indie phenom nudged up a tier: a bigger budget, live drums, tighter structures, crisper sounds. But these improvements benefit the Brooklyn-based producer on a record that springs as naturally out of his personality as it does the trajectory of his career.
The artist’s name and age are unknown, but it’s easy to see why he’s a phenomenon in dance-music circles. He raps, projecting the suavity and confidence of a suited-up professional, and his deep-house beats draw us in with their endless pads. Knowing who he is isn’t a prerequisite for getting to know him. He’s a nameless modern cowboy, cruising the streets of a city where it’s always night, and his dialogue suggests a man with a job to do. Maybe he’s a hitman, maybe a secret agent, maybe just a musician. “I don’t got a lot of time,” he murmurs on “I See a Dime.” “I gotta grind, I gotta shine.”
Information gives his suit a new shine and his Lamborghini a new paint job; it’s an upgrade that doesn’t sacrifice anything essential about his sound. The lush, leering chords are thicker and denser than ever, and when they writhe out of the filtered murk on “Overpay, Overstay” we’re lifted out of his world of cool and into one of real emotion. The hi-hats are so crisp on “Fathomless Irie” they become honorary snares, and a thick burble of bass on “Bit” makes it sound a little bit like Luomo’s “Synkro.” We remember individual sounds rather than letting everything melt into a miasma.
Much of his upgraded budget must’ve gone to recording live drums, which we hear on “Thermonics,” “Plainview” and “Been a Long Night.” They impart a welcome roughness, like a clatter of machinery under the dark streets through which he drives.
His raps have evolved with the genre. He affects a convincing Migos flow on “Another Story” and cribs from DaBaby’s space-jamming acrobatics on “I See a Dime.” He can be funny, as when he admits he’s never been to Africa on “Fathomless Irie,” but for the most part his function as a rapper is to flesh out the world he generates with his beats. Information is pure noir fantasy, and when we’re listening we can feel as calm and cool as Galcher himself.
Where Information falls short of greatness is in its song structures. Most of these tracks are three or four minutes long, the length of most pop or rap songs but on the short side for house. I’m scared of the unholy combination of Luomo’s Vocalcity and D’Angelo’s Voodoo he could make if he ran up the word counts of his verses a little longer and let his beats stretch a few minutes further into outer space. You might get a little lost listening to Information, but you’ll find your way back quickly enough that the territory will become familiar after a few listens.