Since his landmark 2011 LP, You Stand Uncertain, so effectively displayed FaltyDL's ability to bring together wide-reaching ends of the electronic music spectrum, the NYC producer's output has been—understandably—all over the place. It's not just merely in musical terms though, as the work which has followed his sophomore LP has appeared across a number of different labels as well, including releases for RAMP, Swamp 81, All City, and Ninja Tune. Now, FaltyDL has returned to the UK super-label which housed his earlier Atlantis EP, issuing a two-track single of dense dancefloor fare.
Considering this single is not sheepish about its straightforward focus on the floor, it's not exactly the kind of release one would usually expect to see on Ninja Tune. Both "Hardcourage" and "Our House Stab" are resolutely dance tunes; granted, they are smart and a bit adventurous in their search for enticing rhythms, but nonetheless sound a little out of place in the imprint's stable. Perhaps the jazz flavors that bob just above the surface or the touch of old-school, NY-style house that graces each track made them appeal to the Ninja Tune A&R (and alternately informed the art direction as well), or maybe the label was just happy to get its hands on something new from the respected tunesmith. The latter seems more likely, but either way, the release certainly makes for a welcome addition to the varied run Ninja Tune has put together so far this year.
Both "Hardcourage" and "Our House Stab" come complete with a jacking swing, led by upfront hats and a slew of almost-overdriven kicks and snares that bite through the mix with their largely unaltered drum-machine tones. The a-side slowly slinks into place, bringing up a bubbling organ sequence as the beat constructs, and eventually laying down a bulbous bassline (which jumps between as many notes as it can fit into its two-bar loop). Between the ever-so-slightly fuzzed bass, retro drum machines, dry percussion, and stabbing organs, "Hardcourage" is almost too nostalgic, but FaltyDL brings just enough modern tricks to the table to render the tune into more than just old-school admiration. The b-side, "Our House Stab," is approached in much of the same manner, sliding to a slightly mellower tempo while filling out into a wider sonic space with dense chorded stabs and slow-brewing atmospheres.
Again, FaltyDL seems to be in fine form, displaying his uncanny ability to connect untraceable influences into effortless hybrids. At this point, he's earned the right to venture wherever he pleases with his productions.