RA online Mix of the decade

RA's number one mix of 2013 was not your average mix. The impossibly silky 100% Galcher was spun from tracks that were original in every sense—unknown, unheard and unbelievably good. Who was this mysterious Galcher Lustwerk? Why did he sound like the proprietor of a Eurotrash-y discotheque? And who told him it was OK to rap over deep house? The enigma appeared on Blowing Up The Workshop in June; by autumn it was an underground hit. Lustwerk turned out to be a low-profile young man from Cleveland, now residing in Brooklyn, and he'd hit on an irresistible recipe: dreamy deep house that seemed to pulse with the city's nocturnal energy. The special ingredient was his own voice, a deadpan that could free-rhyme its way through the back rooms and side doors of any dimly lit establishment.

The two halves of 100% Galcher—there's a pause in the middle, as if a tape is being turned over—are based on a brief set of musical ideas: cloudy pads that warm you from the inside out, the tick-tock of a vintage drum machine, distant traffic noises, falling rain, the "Galcher Lustwerk" drop, chopped and repeated until it's a mixtape mantra. And Lustwerk himself, heavy-lidded and still rhyming, "you can't stop it, no, no, no." Lustwerk took the basic elements of hip-house, the short-lived '90s fusion most often remembered as a cheesy cash-in, and reframed them for a contemporary era, updating the "hip" element to reflect rap's millennial obsessions with clubs, drugs, sex and fame. Though 100% Galcher's influence can be heard in the dance-pop renovations of Yaeji and Channel Tres, it's proved impossible to jack his style.

- Chal Ravens