Best Albums of 2011: #7

Rustie - Glass Swords

I really never thought an instrumental electronic album like Glass Swords could make it to the top of my end-of-year list -- I just tend to not have the patience for this kind of stuff. Looking to expand my musical palette a bit, though, I did my best to give the debut album from newcomer Rustie a try. Quite surprisingly, I found myself totally addicted the sounds and styles Rustie plays with in Glass Swords. Influences from across the electronic music spectrum make it into Glass Swords and the result is a dizzying blend of styles that only a young producer like Rustie could pull off.

It's heavy on samples, 8-bit synths, and even cheesy guitar solos -- indulgent and maximalist in every meaning of the words. In "Hover Traps" Rustie matches a slap bass guitar with a sample of Navi from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time -- in "Globes" he sounds like a bit like the German electronic duo Digitalism, but "City Star" might as well be the backing track for the best Rick Ross song he never rapped over. Genres, subgenres, labels... throw it all out the window: Rustie is the definitive electronic release of 2011 -- a snapshot of electronic music in 2011 and what the genre has to offer.

Best Tracks: "Glass Swords", "Ultra Thizz"

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