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Already classic, Galcher Lustwerk is a complete, unique vibe. The New York-based producer, DJ, and vocalist ignited a fervent and instant fanbase in 2013 with his mix of all original material, “100% Galcher”. RA’s pick for the number one mix of the year, its sexy blend of azure deep house productions and analgesic rap murmurs spawned many imitators. But as Pitchfork noted in their “Best Reissue” review, Lustwerk created, “a style that didn’t sound like anything else in dance music – not then, not before, not since.”
Study of his subsequent albums – 2017’s Dark Bliss, 2018’s 200% Galcher, and 2019’s Information – provides a hazy reveal of his influences growing up in Cleveland, soundtracked by quiet storm, adult contemporary, and jazz. If saxophone lessons from age nine taught young Galcher the importance of improvisation, his early forays – starting at 12 – into electronic music production with a demo version of Fruity Loops drew from his growing interest in anime, skate video music, post-rock, and electronica from the UK. Cutting his teeth as a DJ while attending college at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence during the electro-house resurgence, his time there amongst the city’s noise scene introduced him to his future White Material collaborators Morgan Louis, Young Male, and DJ Richard. As a crew and nascent label, their subsequent move to the Brooklyn loft party scene provided a lot of the project’s early inspiration.
As such, it’s true that a DJ mix – especially of all original material, the way he often performs it now – is the best way to experience Galcher. It perpetuates the “narcotic and wondrous,” feeling, as NPR describes it. In fact, there’s not so many artists that receive accolades from outlets as diverse as Mixmag (“a gift from house heaven”) and The Washington Post (“discreetly profound”). Perhaps that’s related to how Lustwerk’s signature deepness takes precedence over genre, maintaining hypnotic power even in his side projects, like Road Hog’s car-themed loops, Macchiato’s jazzy sketches, The Fock’s techno excursions, and his astral house collaboration with Alvin Aronson, Studio OST.
Relentlessly creative, Lustwerk has released a number of self-produced, directed, and edited music videos for himself, but 2023’s “Outside the Club (Vocal Version)” features all original illustrations and script, too. Its game-like journey through underground clubland is an oneiric extension to a sound that the Washington Post illuminated as, “intimate and intuitive as everyday life. His sound feels easy to know because it already knows you.” It’s house music as essential as a heartbeat: sensual, timeless, utterly original, and 100% a vibe.