Rustie continues his go big or go home mission statement, for better and worse.
The States really need to step up its game. We’re being crushed by our friends across the pond in electronic music. The last few years have seen a flurry of UK-based producers that have dominated the genre. There’s the dance-pop bliss of Disclosure, the seductive murmurs of SBTRKT, the multi-colored explorations of Lone, and then there’s Rustie: the maximalist. Even when placed against the Mario Kart bounce of Lone’s “Crystal Caverns 1991” or Sam Smith’s soaring notes on “Latch”, Rustie makes massive music. Green Language, above all else, is a testament to Rustie’s go big or go home attitude. And, for better and worse, Rustie ain’t going home, he burned his house down.
For fans of Rustie’s last record Glass Swords, things have changed. There’s still the draw towards video gamey tracks (the fluttering “Paradise Stone”), but this isn’t as weird, and Green Language is often geared towards more club friendly ears. That becomes clear through the featured artists. Rustie’s been a solo artist in most of his work, but rappers and singers dot Green Language, from London based D Double E to Detroit icon Danny Brown (don’t worry, we’ll come back to him). Unfortunately most of these guests feel like after thoughts. The rippling melody line on “He Hate Me” could have stood alone, and didn’t need Face Vega’s trap drawl. The admittedly sweet “Lost” has a bit too much Auto-tune touching on Redinho’s croon. D Double E is completely obnoxious, making “Up Down” nearly unlistenable. The only guest singer who nails it is Muhsinah, who is graceful on the sparkling “Dream On”, proving Rustie can whip up a good background for more intimate moments at the party.
Rustie seems more comfortable on his own, but Green Language suffers from the same problem that arose on Pusha T’s My Name is My Name: both of them released their album’s best three songs before the record was officially available. This only leads to disappointment while diving into the final product. “Raptor”, “Attak”, and “Velcro” are easily the best tracks here, and even solid songs like “Paradise Stone” or “Lets Spiral” are dwarfed. That being said, Rustie really has outdone himself with this trio. “Raptor” has one of his finest drops, a bouncy-castle beat encased in neon erupting from a gleaming background. “Velcro” is unadulterated joy in a speeding captivating package. It’s hard not to smile throughout the track as Rustie rushes along at a hyper-kinetic pace. Then there’s “Attak”. Rustie did produce two tracks for Danny Brown’s Old, but nothing’s quite like the wonderful combo of Brown’s twitching flow and Rustie’s plasma infused beat that makes the question of “Why didn’t we do this sooner?” instantly pop up.
“Attak’s" near flawlessness points out what Rustie should avoid in future releases. Namely, only get guest who can keep up. Rustie’s got a polarizing touch to his beats that leave most featured artists in the dust, and Brown is the only guest actually operating at Rustie’s level of frenetic madness. Green Language is by no means a bad album, but there are glimpses of an adrenaline shot of a record that could have been made.