He might be a man of few words when it comes to interviews — as we found out ahead of Friday's Miami debut show at Bardot — but really, Galcher Lustwerk is the spoken word don of contemporary deep house.
The laid-back, self-styled vocals he sprinkles over tasteful stripped-down beats distinguished Lustwerk from the get-go. In fact, the Brooklyn-based producer practically blew up overnight through sheer word of mouth after 100% Galcher, a "mixtape" of all-original tracks, got picked up by the blogosphere in 2013.
Fast-forward two years and Lustwerk shows no signs of slowing down. He's even launched his own label. We tried to squeeze as much out of him before he comes to the Magic City, but — if you're really interested in the kid — you've simply got to see him live.
New Times: What did you grow up listening to? Are there any particular genres, artists, and records which you consider most formative and influential as an artist?
Galcher Lustwerk: Smooth jazz, Sting, The Prodigy, drum 'n' bass, my dad found a Ken Ishii CD at work and gave it to me when I was 12, Wu-Tang, Bad Brains, The Sea and Cake, Madlib — random stuff. Underworld has always been a favorite. Aphex Twin. First house record I remember hearing was [Kevin Saunderson's] "Bounce Your Body To The Box." Magazine CD samplers were great growing up. Paul Hardcastle's "Rainforest" was an early favorite. Tricky. Loads of stuff.
How did you first get into to electronic dance music production? Is that the style of music you set out to write from the start, or did you gradually evolve in that direction?
The first program I used was called Acid Music, and I've been working with various DAWs for over 15 years, so I guess I've developed certain habits in that time that influence my sound or production style.
You came up as part of the Providence scene at the Rhode Island School of Design with the esteemed White Material crew. What can you tell us about this collective and how you all came together?
We're all very close friends, and we respect each other's tastes and creativity.
Did you have any premonition that your 100% Galcher mixtape would make such a big splash? Was it your intention to more or less break out with a bang by putting out a whole hour's worth of original material in mix form?
No. If you sit with a lot of tracks and know them fairly well in your head, then it's easy to make a mix of your own stuff. I was at a moment where I felt pretty comfortable about a large body of work, so I jumped on the opportunity.
One of the most striking elements in your production work is your voice. How did you develop this laid-back soulful vocal style? Does it just come naturally to you, or did you hone it along the way?
I just try to relax.
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You recently launched Lustwerk Music. Is there a special concept or vision behind the label? Is it mainly a platform for your own productions, or do you plan to release music by other artists in the future as well?
The plan is to release records whenever a record needs to get released. And in all the formats, as well — vinyl, digital, streaming. No CDs, but everything else. So it's a pretty practical label.
So what can we expect from you next on the production front? Any forthcoming projects or releases we can look forward to?
Yes, but I don't want to talk about them yet.
We're looking forward to your Miami debut at Bardot on Friday. What can we expect?
Yeah, for sure. I've never been to Miami. You can expect the unexpected.