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  • Filed under: Review
  • 12/05/2012

Lucy Finnegan

It's hard to say whether Lucy is intentionally evoking the most impenetrable novel in the English language on "Finnegan," but this EP of industrial-tinged techno does feel decidedly dreamlike and hallucinatory. Pairing one of the Italian-born, Berlin-dwelling producer's own tracks with two remixes from the UK's Pariah, whose dark instincts and shared fondness for gender-bending alter egos—with Blawan, he performs as Karenn—"Finnegan" is an intriguing prospect.

On the a-side, the Stroboscopic Artefacts founder fleshes out a sidewinding, metallic loop—an enigmatic collage of stupefying gongs, thuds, and ratcheting scrapes—with a glowering techno push, all mincing, long-tailed hi-hats and padded kicks. Smudged with the sonic fingerprints of musique concrète and dub, a sense of imbalance gives it an unexpected immediacy. The track dives into fitful snoring for a moment—daring a more overt reference to Finnegans Wake perhaps?—only to return with greater urgency.

In a gesture of international techno amity, Lucy hands the reins over to Pariah for somewhat interchangeable remix and dub versions. These are sleeker creations than the original, trading in the its suggestion of incoherence for a tighter focus. On both versions, "Finnegan"'s central motif is refashioned as a subliminally jacking tom pattern. The contrast between Pariah as a representative of new British techno, and the multitudes it contains, and the somewhat more established Stroboscopic Artefacts sound makes for an interesting dialogue. That's for the best, as the two remixes are only slightly different, with the first flying a pitch-tweaking synth line and the second meditating on an FX-laced bell sound. In the end, Pariah's remixes are less interesting to return to than the original, though they'd probably go over well in a club. The approaches he and Lucy represent aren't hugely different on the surface, but this EP exerts enough strange magnetism to bring the listener in to examine its details.

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