Galcher Lustwerk's legendary Blowing Up The Workshop mix is finally given a "proper" release and still stands as one of the finest deep house documents of the last decade - all syrup-laced grooves, honey-voiced raps and taut, dusted percussion that owes as much to '90s rap as it does vintage house. Essential listening for anyone into Theo Parrish, Moodymann, Omar-S, DJ Sprinkles - you know the deal.
Originally released in 2013, "100% Galcher" introduced US DJ/producer Galcher Lustwerk in the most virtuosic way possible - a mixtape of completely original material. Despite being featured as part of Matthew Kent's Blowing Up The Workshop series, which often featured more straightforward DJ mixes, "100% Galcher" functionally stood as an artist album, and in its repackaged form - split into 15 discrete tracks. Even at this relatively early stage in his career, Galcher's sound was fully formed; later records like 2019's slick "Information" may have been more lavishly produced, but "100% Galcher" already showed us exactly what the New York-based beatmaker was capable of.
To understand the context when it originally arrived, it's important to cast your mind back to 2013 for a second. Interest in classic deep house had been on the rise, and the dominance of "deep v house" was imminent: Disclosure's popular and vapid debut "Settle" was released that summer. Sanitized, shuffled deep grooves, cleaved from their original context, were now the soundtrack to finance industry parties and destination festivals. So when "100% Galcher" landed it was a blast of cool air on a humid day, a reminder that deep house could be sexy, urgent and impactful, draped in mystery and hard edged, but never losing the subtle shiver of funk.
Tracks like early highlights 'Put On' and 'Outside the Club' connect the past and present in a uniquely creative way, folding together hip-house rollage, p-funk, levitating synth/field recording ambience and Gemini-esque dissonant syn-drum fizz. 'In the Place' more forcefully points towards rap, with a syncopated groove and narcotic rhymes from Galcher, but it simultaneously never lets go of the deep house atmosphere, hypnotizing with jazzy pads and electroid rimshots.
The record is assembled from movements, or small thickets of tracks sequenced together using various "stems" to connect them. These stems are vibey, beatless electronic backdrops - the kind of sounds that usually lurk in the background on Galcher's productions, pushed into the fore. And it's by using these beatless intervals that Galcher connects his vast palette of influences, creating a discernible bridge from faded Detroit-esque burners like 'Enterprise' and 'Cricket's Theme''s jerky funk to the low-lit outro 'Lil Bit o Chocolit' with its "Artificial Intelligence"-via-"First Floor" sexiness. Too good.