On the cover of Glass Swords, the debut album by Glasgow’s newest dance wunderkind, Rustie, two sunlit space crystals meet at an angle. And like beams of light through prisms, his music – a nebulous knot of synth, bass and animated rhythms – reaches into a multi-dimensional plane.
An array of millennial influences infiltrate Rustie’s ravey, soaring compositions: primitive gaming melodies, proggy kitsch, patches of aggressive hi-hats, pitch-shifted vocal yelps, Timbalandish squelch and the emotive atmospherics of IDM. It all makes Glass Swords a vivid, liberating experience (and, as a by-product, makes the canned wobble of dubstep seem oppressive).
Grizzled bass on Cry Flames and After Light compete with the piano-house funk euphoria of relatively subdued Surph. Songs like Ultra Thizz and Hover Traps have defined hooks and big-room resonance, reflecting Rustie’s ability to peddle nuanced anthems. It’s a pill of a record. Drop it before going out or while in the throes of S.A.D.
Top track: Ultra Thizz