It’s hard to say why the combination of hip-hop and house music never took off. Following the brief hip-house scene of the late ’80s and early ’90s the genres seemed to split completely, seldom to cross paths again. Despite this, many house producers are avowed hip-hop fans and many hip-hop producers certainly appreciate house production styles. Yet few of either have seriously attempted to combine their interests.
Galcher Lustwerk is a rare artist who sits astride hip-hop and house sounds with ease. The Cleveland-born, New York-based producer and vocalist first found and then made electronic music as a teenager before falling for hip-hop in college. When he combined the two, first publicly in 2013 on the “100% Galcher” mix for Blowing Up the Workshop, the results were gritty, lush, and entirely distinctive. Although he’s continued to evolve over the course of four albums, the core of his sound—the smoky deep-house beats and laid-back, almost hypnotic vocal cadence—conjures a whole noirish world of its own.
Information, his fourth album and first for an outside label, arrived on Ghostly International last November. Curious to learn more, I reached out to Galcher to pick his brain about the refinements he brought to this latest LP, the setup behind his singular sound, and what underlies his songwriting process.