On Ninja Tune
Drew Lustman aka FaltyDL was born and grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. It’s a place best known as the home of top Ivy League establishment Yale University. Other than that, Lustman explains “it’s a big ghetto.” The young Lustman found himself bouncing between these two worlds, not entirely comfortable in either. “i was a shitty student,” he explains. “I barely graduated, did a lot of drugs, and ended up in rehab at 16/17. Music was my way to get out of it.” He started off playing in jazz and rock bands, but by 19 he’d decided to go it alone and named himself FaltyDL.
There followed a few years of intensive music making interpersed with attempts to find a home for what he was making. Eventually Mike Paradinas of the legendary Planet Mu said he’d release the young producer’s records, “a huge moment,” Falty remembers. Shortly after, he relocated to New York and it was here that his musical career really took off. “My good friend Boxcutter advised me to the slow the BPM down to like 130BPM and was sending me a lot of garage-influenced stuff like Horsepower and El-B, and I started making "Love is a Liability."” Since then, Lustman has looked to expand and evolve his signature sound over two albums, an EP and three singles for the label. In addition, he has released an afrobeat-inspired 12”, “Mean Streets Pt 1” with Loefah’s Swamp81 label, a single on Ramp backed with a remix from Jamie XX and begun releasing collaborations with Machinedrum online. An in-demand remixer, he has made versions for the likes of Seun Kuti (Fela’s son), Mount Kimbie, The XX, Scuba, Photek, Anthony Shake Shakir and others. Recently he supported Radiohead in New York and topped Thom Yorke’s office playlist. In additon to all this, he set up his own label, Blueberry Records, named for both the fruit and the Blueberry Hill he used to climb near his grandmother’s house.
But if FaltyDL was known for his own twisting of the garage template (a music which had crossed the Atlantic, mutated, and now come back to be twisted again) his new music signals another change. “I've moved completely away from that sound,” he says. “Production-wise it’s the best thing I've ever done. It’s about getting sounds I hear out of my head onto the software/synths I’m writing on. Filtering through the sounds in my subconcious. This is the closest I've ever got." Partly the changes are down to that old black magic, love. Lustman met his girlfriend mid-way through the writing of the record (shortly after signing to that cupid amongst labels, Ninja Tune!) and she “became my muse. I didn't make this album with the intention of sharing all of it. Of course some of it, but most was made for one person in particular.” And, more than anything else, that honesty and intimacy shines through.