Lucy: Wordplay For Working Bees (Stroboscopic Artefacts)
While it may be cheap to just make a blanket comparison, I can’t help but listen to Luca Mortellaro’s album and feel like it’s what Pan Sonic might have sounded like in a parallel universe, if they’d veered closer to trends rather than eschewing hooks altogether over time. His music was new to me until I stumbled onto some clips posted on Facebook; they immediately won me over. I like that the album has a really keen sense of movement and position, with tracks that are plenty solid to stand alone but work best as a whole in sequence. He tends to craft his tracks in ways that don’t really cling to any sort of melodic sensibility, no ostensible hooks or basslines to hold onto, but compelling nonetheless. “Gas,” for instance is all thick tuneless drones, skittering beats and delayed effects, but it’s infectious. “Bein,” “Eon” and “Lav” all are build on deep, chuggy grooves, the former being my personal favorite on the album (and perhaps the most immediately dancefloor-crossover), but it’s a really nice flow as an album to hear those juxtaposed against more low-key or abstract pairings. The bending pads of “Es” are haunting and cool, while “Ter” boasts the most melodic tune, harking back to late 90s IDM as a lush closing statement. The album is one of a couple that made my favorites of 2011 that fall into this fringe category of highly rhythmic, non-melodic electronic music that hits a certain sweet spot for me; the other that comes to mind is Kangding Ray’s outstanding OR album on Raster-Noton.