Lucy’s sophomore album, Churches Schools and Guns, conjures up images of: a black sandstorm, a glacier, a séance, a labyrinth, a twisted performance piece, a crumbling boulder, an industrial line, and an arrival at Elysium. Nowhere do these physical forms all exist together, save for within Lucy’s exploration of ambience, techno, and texture, a vast non-physical space that we’re more or less siphoned into upon initial startle.
Born Luca Mortellaro in Italy, Lucy now resides in Berlin. He masters dance floor energies as the deeper act at most major clubs and festivals, and conceptual abstraction as the head of his own Stroboscopic Artefacts label. Churches Schools and Guns rivets on the latter; not catering to the dance floor, it grovels around drifting, rhythm-aversive soundscapes that sift from beautiful to disturbing.
Aside from “The Illusion of Choice,” surprisingly buoyant and the album’s most driving track, Lucy forges unpredictable manipulations in sound and texture, often tangling light with dark. Some, like the split end ripples in “The Best Selling Show,” fizzle frenetically atop petaled keys, while “Follow the Leader” brews a foreboding curse with mutant chants among sludge. Not completely stapled to ruminating atmospheres, “The Self As Another” rims on industrial rumbles that eerily claw forward in an amorphous and tin drum manner.
Claustrophobic and caustic, Churches Schools and Guns floods with a sense of unease and even evil before reaching mollification from the blossoming glass reverie, “We Live As We Dream,” and the final, liquid elixir mantra, “Falling.” It requires some amount of patience and observation to get through Lucy’s twelve titled experiments, though there are moments where they unlock a cerebral terrain transcending the physical realm, and certainly existing sound structures. In all, a perception of something treacherous and divine lingers here, a severe mood, rooted deep in the earth among bleached bones long since forgotten.
Churches Schools and Guns drops February 17 digital and vinyl on Stroboscopic Artefacts.
Lucy - "Follow The Leader"
Lucy - "The Illusion of Choice"
Lucy - "The Best Selling Show"
Churches Schools and Guns
- Stroboscopic Artefacts