It’s not often we get a video with Leeds Town Hall in, and, well, at least this way you don’t have to look at his hair again…
Ian Mathers: Rusko is a hip new dubstep producer, and Coffman is from the Dirty Projectors, right? So why does their collaboration sound like I’ve heard it dozens of times before, namely whenever I’d turn over to MuchMusic late at night and hit on their mid-90s techno show?
Michaelangelo Matos: Hey, at least we get to hear what she does with something aimed at actual radio, albeit radio in England. And what she does is, thanks to the song (not to mention the track), professional, and negligible.
John Seroff: Today is a day of dance tracks and this is absolutely my favorite of a strong bunch. “Hold On” starts with cymbal splashes and as blatant a Badalamenti lift as you’re likely to find south of Moby. Rusko rapidly couches that theme in a doppler of pistoning bass, d’n’b percussion, an aerie of clockwork clucks and tweets and The Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman doing a more-than-reasonable Tracey Thorn impression. I like the restraint at play, the calm at the song’s center that indicates the offer to dance has yet to be taken. I’m only starting to dig into Rusko’s new album, but it’s shaping up to be one that I’ll return to throughout the summer. “Hold On” is one of the reasons why.
Mark Sinker: A hard to credit 15 years old, J&J’s “Physics”s contains much of the secret screwed coding for this. Except to hear it, you have switch over to the sped-up Sub Focus remix, which goes and dispenses with the heart-in-mouth pause before the leap and those law-of-dubstep backwards boofs. Some of my best friends went to Leeds Uni, so it seems unjust to hold that against Rusko, but this is a careful belle-lettrist essay rhapsodising what he’s working towards, not the thing itself.
Martin Skidmore: The music jumps along in lively enough style, but the dreary Bjork-wannabe vocal drags it down, and Rusko apparently has little idea what to do with a tune anyway, except allow her to sing it while he does his often frenetic thing. How did he get to be the commercial face of dubstep?
Anthony Easton: A continued attempt to make noise palatable — never quite works a solution out, but the battle is most of the joy.
Jonathan Bogart: Cool glides and witchy words. Cartoon bursts. I’m more than fine with this.
Katherine St Asaph: Gauzy, pretty, but has a shelf life of about a minute. Maybe it should have been the Sam and Dave cover that the first line started.