Techno producers are traditionally among the most experimental of electronic artists, but even so it is rare to find an individual who can achieve equal success musically and conceptually. Lucy is one such individual. He possesses the sort of profound understanding of his craft that is normally reserved for noise and ambient artists such as Keith Fullerton Whitman; seemingly innate knowledge of construction right through from the fundamentals to the subtlest tweak of a snare. Wordplay For Working Bees is a debut album that uses techniques varying from the crushing industrial bleakness of Bein to the twinkling digital bliss of Mas to deconstruct dance music, isolating and exploring its key components over the course of an hour.
Lucy’s idiosyncratic approach results in the creation of intensely powerful atmospheres. The aforementioned Bein is uncompromising and monolithic–a skeleton gnawed clean of melody leaving behind only bleached, syncopated bones. Other tracks like Es and Torul reside in ocean depths or on forest floors, the percussive maelstrom reduced to a shuffling slither of clicks and taps while stripped organ pads pulsate in the gloom. Melody and rhythm are ever-present but never intrusive, allowing Lucy’s intricate textural layering to glimmer through.
The only contemporaries this release has are two of last year’s very best records, Mark Fell’s Multistability and Shed’s The Traveller, both of which ignored convention and examined the signature 4/4 pulse of modern dance. Wordplay For Working Bees is hypnotic, unnerving, and probably the finest piece of experimental electronic music released this year.