Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lucy - Wordplay for Working Bees

2011; 11 tracks

This is the debut full-length album of Luca Mortellaro, a very talented young artist of electronic and techno music. His first EP, Open House, was released in 2007, and he has since been featured on numerous mixes and a prominent member of the underground techno scene.

Wordplay for Working Bees is a cerebral album, to be sure, but it is penetrating in its darkness. I've never called the genre of "techno" a favorite, but this particular brand of techno, sometimes edging on idm, is beautiful. This is definitely one of my favorite new albums of 2011, and I'm excited to see what else Lucy creates.

"The album often swings wildly from gorgeous interludes to foreboding atmospheres, where low frequencies bud and spore spontaneously. The beats are rarely predictable, sometimes not even danceable... That's not to say that Wordplay is all downcast weather and ruminative rumblings: The album's pumping midsection can be just as suffocating as it is warmly embracing, particularly the hissing field of locusts that surrounds the floating breakbeat in 'Bein' or the aural cement mixer that grounds 'Lav.'

Wordplay's defining feature is its immense and overwhelming sound design. Texture dominates over structure and rhythm. While definitely not an ambient album, it's easy enough to get lost in what's happening in or around the beats. It's something that anyone who loves electronic music, sound and sound manipulation, can fall in love with; when those microscopic fireworks burst blazing out of the percussion on 'Gas,' no one's going to care about time signatures or genre conventions. As techno continues to suffer through a bipolar identity crisis, fractured down the middle between minimal and, well, not minimal, it's producers like Lucy that prove just how far beyond those arbitrary boundaries the medium can be extended."



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