100% GALCHER was by all accounts a game-changer when it landed in 2013 as an hour of original music from a relatively unknown producer ushered in by the beloved mix series Blowing Up The Workshop. Galcher Lustwerk’s signature sound — a smoky stream-of-consciousness baritone shadow-boxing with beats, informed by funk, rap, rhythm, and blues — felt like an epiphany, impossibly hypnotic and complete. Resident Advisor writes, “100% GALCHER laid out a louche, lysergic and resolutely black take on deep house.” Pitchfork remembers the music’s immediate impact: “It’s the sort of gem you felt inclined to pass around” — and by year-end list time, word-of-mouth intensified. It was Resident Advisor and Juno’s mix of the year, and earned a top-ten placement in FACT Magazine’s albums list, as well as Philip Sherburne’s personal rundown for Spin.” Since then, select songs from 100% GALCHER have seen small-run pressings, while the album has lived primarily on SoundCloud and YouTube as a low-key cult legend. The gateway into Lustwerk’s now well-established catalog, known for its reliability as a late-night listen and its prophetic vision for the near future of underground dance music. RA would later name it a mix of the decade, citing its influence and imagination: “Original in every sense — unknown, unheard and unbelievably good.” In late 2022, marking ten years since he first recorded the material, Lustwerk returns to Ghostly International to release 100% GALCHER as a remastered limited-edition double LP.
Lustwerk is a product of the Midwest. Growing up in Cleveland, he’d tape over his parents’ cassettes and spend hours at his family computer recording loops and designing artwork for the jewel cases of burned CDs. In high school, he turned to Ableton Live and absorbed every electronic music magazine he could find at the local Borders Books store. In excerpts from the 100% GALCHER liner notes, Lustwerk looks back: “My dad drove me to this shop on the westside Bent Crayon, where I would get anything the blogs told you to get + whatever the clerk recommended. CDs stayed in their packaging, there was always an overflow of vinyl stacked on the floor. I was too shy to listen to anything before buying.”
As a college student at RISD, he played in noise bands, plugged into Providence’s DIY scene via Myspace, and started DJing weeknights at bars downtown. There he connected with Young Male and DJ Richard, who would go on to found White Material Records and offer their third release to Galcher Lustwerk, an alias realized via CAPTCHA test, a perfect artifact of its internet age. By 2012, Lustwerk had drifted to New York City and settled into a graphic design job, quickly growing disenfranchised by office culture. “Some days I felt like a token, other days I felt invisible.” At night, he and his friends were carving out their own space, throwing parties in small basements, office buildings, and off-beat karaoke bars in Manhattan, influenced by series such as Mr. Sunday Night in Gowanus and The Bunker at Public Assembly.
The lifestyle started to bleed into Lustwerk’s musical vision. He remembers the night it clicked in Providence, partying and listening to tunes with Morgan Louis and Alvin Aronson. He went back to New York and pieced together his bedroom setup: a Dave Smith Tempest drum machine, a Waldorf Blofeld synthesizer, and a TEAC cassette recorder. The first sessions were loose. “I wanted to feel like you were tripping, maybe having a bit of heatstroke, or dehydration. Your body feels detached, your jaw clenched. People become furniture. Light becomes the main character, surfaces show their age in real-time. Wabi-sabi shit.”
Early snippets went straight to SoundCloud, where Lustwerk tested the crowd. “I was able to generate moods quickly now, a pad crying like a dozen detuned french horns. Frequency dithering towards red. An 808 comes to the forefront.” Comments and messages offered instant feedback. One DM proved to be the greenlight: from Matthew Kent, an invitation to his burgeoning mix series Blowing Up The Workshop. “In his straightforwardness + my willingness at the time to take the opportunity for what it’s worth, I decided to go for broke and finish a lil mix, sort of like a rap mixtape you’d find off Datpiff.com.”
100% GALCHER traveled fast and far. A phenomenon he could only enjoy for a short period before discovering that nearly all the masters of the tracks got wiped by water damage to his computer. “The only copies were now on the 192kbs mp3 mix I sent Matt.” Until now, after Lustwerk revived the lost tracks and handed them to Josh Bonati for remastering. “The original mix was never mastered so I hope older fans can find something new here.”
Hearing the enhanced set for the first time delineated by tracklist reveals this was a proper album all along. Sly synth interludes (all titled “Stem”) clear the air for raspy house anthems like “Fifty” and “Parlay,” the set’s original breakout. Themes present across Lustwerk’s catalog first materialize in this iconic run — the link between the meditative state of Midwest driving and the solitary comedowns of nightlife. Lustwerk, the narrator, is an elusive character, a secret agent of the club, embodied by the hooks: “One minute I’m on / next minute I’m gone,” he reminds us on cult-favorite “Put On.” These narcotic, one-line refrains stick with you; look no further than the original YouTube upload of “Kaint” to know that fans can’t let these phrases go.
While recorded alone, 100% GALCHER was a collective moment. A decade later, Lustwerk sees the legacy as shared: “Making music can be an alienating experience, especially for DJs who travel a lot, it’s all super isolating. It’s easy to express loneliness in the music itself, but when it comes down to getting things done, putting music out, you def should go on that journey w other people, friends, or maybe just a group of people online, build things with your friends then they can build to help you.”
3. Put On
4. Outside The Club
5. I Neva Seen
10. Everybody In The Place 2012
12. Cricket’s Theme
15. Lil’ Bit Of Chocolit
16. 100% Pain
Catalogue Number: GI410LP