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Lucy – Monad X review

Lucy’s Stroboscopic Artefacts label has become as well known for its Monad digital series as its physical output. Previous Monad releases have done a lot to further the industrial influence on techno and as he steps up to the plate, it’s clear that the Italian producer has his work cut out. However, it also quickly becomes apparent that he is easily up for the task. “Pentad” cuts a menacing shape, its intense, doubled up beats providing the basis for wave upon wave of noisy, swirling textures ring fenced by barbed wire percussion. This veritable assault lasts just over ten minutes and during that time it feels like Lucy has taken an excavator to the listener’s cranium.

“Tetrad” and “Decad” are less direct and by default sound less intense, but neither could be mistaken for easy listening. The former tumbles along to rattling, brokenĀ  beats as bursts of noise are unleashed, let off like steam screeching through a loosened pressure valve. The latter is more introspective as Lucy uses droning soundscapes and, nearer the outro, an eerie vocal to give vent to his reflective side. Neither however can prepare the listener for “Triad”. Like “Pentad”, it is based on stomping off beats, but it goes through a number of sonic transformations, from the menacing sound of an industrial saw edging closer to its target, through a dubby fugue before bringing this installment in the series to an end with a raucous, blaring foghorn riff. On X, Lucy shows that Monad continues to mark the spot for wired industrial techno.

Richard Brophy