Recommended: Lucy – Finnegan EP

To say Stroboscopic Artefacts boss Lucy has had a pretty good couple of years is an understatement. His debut album “Wordplay for Working Bees”, was one of the strongest techno full-lengths of 2011, with its broad spectrum of moods and styles and impeccable sound design, and a subsequent EP, “The Banality of Evil”, was a cerebral engagement with the theories of Hannah Arendt that nevertheless had real emotive potency. His imprint, with a roster that includes artists like Perc and Xhin, releases the kind of throttling techno that can make a night out feel like a trepanning session. For his new 12-inch, though, Lucy returns to Belgian label Curle Recordings, with whom he had a 2007 release. “Finnegan” is one of the darkest, deepest techno cuts to hit in a while. And this is 2012; one thing the year has not been short on is dark, deep techno. For nearly eight minutes, our ears are treated to an industrial-tinged exploration so monolithic it makes everything else sound puny by comparison. Dexterously incorporating multiple rhythms and timbres, from the slow, abrasive crunch that opens the track to a lithe, skeletal clatter, and a kick deeper than the Mariana Trench, Lucy has that rare gift of making everything coalesce beautifully into a relentless, throbbing narrative.

Stream: Lucy – Finnegan (Curle Recordings)

On remixing duties is R&S producer Pariah. His first remix is more club-friendly than the original – depending, of course, on the kind of clubs you go to. He does away with the more complex rhythmic aspects of the original in favour of a blistering groove that will leave no internal organ unturned. Hefty, clambering synths give the track an ecstatic feel without compromising its dark drama, and while the dub remix doesn’t deviate wildly from this formula, its singularity-causing kick will invariably give sluggish early-morning clubbers the impetus to continue long into the day.

With “Finnegan”, Lucy delivers the heady blend of heaviness and intelligence we’ve come to expect from him, and by taking his sound into colder, more industrial territory, he avoids rehashing his achievements of the last few years. We can only hope that the next few are as fruitful.

Stream: Lucy – Finnegan (Pariah Remix) (Curle Recordings)

Lucy’s Finnegan is available on the 26th of November on Curle Recordings.

Maya Kalev