Rustie’s catalogue is pretty fucking dope. Since 2007 he has released a string of innovative bass+beat driven singles and EPs, gradually building his own sound and culminating in the incredible album Glass Swords. Drawing from prog, house, funk, rnb, videogames and beyond Rustie built a psychadelic dayglo hyper-rave with hooks for your head and beats for your feet. It showed a willingness to take risks and rewarded repeat listens with crazy rhythms, melodies and song structures. Tracks start one place and end somewhere entirely different. There is no other album that sounds like it. It is unique, a one-off, a freak.
So with the bar set at I’ve Never Heard That Before, Green Language is quite the disappointment. Gone are the proggy excursions into unpredictability, there are fewer ideas and many tracks feel like overlong interludes. The opening 2 in particular suffer from this, giving the impression the album starts twice. Actually the album ends in the same way – with 2 outros. Collaborations with D Double E and Danny Brown are aimed squarely at the clubs – decent downtempo dance tracks with bouncy trap bass and Rustie’s signature soundscapes. Both guests complement the tracks though to me Danny Brown always looks and sounds too old for this shit. The other collabs range from crap (Gorgeous Children), to fun (Redinho, he has 2 EPs worth checking), to Yeah It’s Alright (Muhsinah, uncredited on Dream On).
His production is excellent but only highlights the simplified songwriting. The club tracks will sound dated in a year and the experiments are very shallow, as if taking a peek round the corner and thinking “that’ll do pig, that’ll do.” Ideas previously lasting 5-30 seconds are stretched over minutes. The songs are all straight forward and there are no surprises. In the 3 years between albums Rustie has played half an album of tracks better than anything on this record. His 2012 BBC Essential Mix premiered 5 alone! What happened to Gilded Jewel Case? Sawdust? Light Years with Joker? Green Language is not a bad album, but Rustie can do better – we’ve heard it.