Official album art from the Sunburst EP
As a character outside the music, electronic recording artist, Rustie, only offers so much. He primarily persists on the flipside, concocting perplexing beats to send his audience into a trance, not merely with their structural shifts and pulsating rhythms, but the complex use of repetition and breakpoints. When he’s on, he’s on: subtle yet direct; hardcore and intentional. Beyond the turntables however, the pseudo grime artist remains mysterious. He’s hesitant to give interviews (perhaps he’s shy as his publicist indicates, though more likely he’s finicky with the untrustable), and in photographs, he hides most of his face behind the zipped-confines of an oversized hoodie.
He does, however, tweet.
“Celery is a wack ass vegetable.” His most recent post, albeit a retweet.
Other remarks reference the rigors of life as a recording artist, “Long as fuk photo shoot day,” and “Got the album test pressings.” Along with fleeting moments in his day-to-day life, “Spent all day yesterday thinking it was Thursday, rushing to get a B-side finished for mastering on Friday. Extra Life!” and a little self-promotion, “Amsterdam pitch festival today.”
For the UK-based producer and remixer, it’s a window for the world to peek inside, and a chance for the young, inconspicuous Scot to test the waters of communication. Rustie’s music is indefinable, a menagerie of electronic, dubstep and house, or trip hop at its finest. His initial break into the business has been spread across clubs in the UK, where he maintains his general audience. Signed to Warp Records, he released an EP last year, titled Sunburst, and has a follow-up full-length rendition due this fall. The way Rustie approaches music, it appears to be as much an experiment and adventure for himself as maker, as it is for those who embark on the storylines he imagines.
In a rare interview with FactMag, he explains, “I’m not really writing about anything when I make music, I think music communicates its own message to emotions and the soul bypassing the writer to a certain extent especially when there are no lyrics.”
What makes Rustie’s work so unusual is the fact there’s no comparable semblance out there, many even crediting him with pioneering his own subgenre of club music. There are slight shades of artists like deadmau5 or Flying Lotus, but his ability to dissect the origins of each stem in a track – keys, guitar, synth– and twist it beyond what it was made to do, then clash it all together sensibly sets him apart from cohorts. What the BBC called “aquacrunk” others have labeled “paint-splattered hip hop,” with fans describing it in a fashion all their own.
“Sounds like Rustie is Mario and he’s fighting HudMo Vs. Zomby Vs. Terror Danjah is a four way Street Fighter spesh,” comments one follower on a message board.
Elusive though he may be, it is clear Rustie has a sense of humor. His outlook on life can not only be evidenced by the snarky nature of his Twitter stream, but in quirky anecdotal creations he devises, like the video for “Hyperthrust,” a mix-and-matched series of clips from the classic film, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. His new album will likely be an extension of such satirical innuendos paired with the audio ruminations of his previous work, no rappers or side artists per his statement to FactMag.
Coming up, he’ll continue his strain of club gigs with shows set forth in Belgium and Croatia. It seems only a matter of time before America likewise catches on to this eccentric strain of popular fancy. After all, when deadmau5 officially hit the scene, it was a quick rise to the top after years of cult fanfare and due diligence.
For now though, Rustie will leave us all hanging, reflecting on life through his music and periodic online musing.
“Is nothing sacred?! RT Why the fuck are they remaking Total Recall?” He tweets.