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White Noise: Lunice – One Hunned EP

Friday, 19 August 2011

Lunice – One Hunned EP


I See U


For those who were content to believe that America and the UK were the only places to find bleeding-edge dance tracks, Canada has been stepping up to the plate big time over the last week. First we had Prison Garde's superb mixtape Système Hermès, and now newcomer Lunice has released one hell of a first EP as a mission statement to dancefloors and bedrooms everywhere. Not just this, his label Lucky Me has certainly hit the mark on signing fresh talent, from Machinedrum's fantastic footwork abberations to Jacques Greene, who could be called an angelic counterpart to Lunice's 8bit grime.

This is grime in tone more than musicality, breaktaking single and standout I See U starts off broody with aggressively pacey percussion and ghostly synths, recalling a home-listening witch house experience more than anything else. However halfway in an aggressive bassline rises up, you feel that you didn't realise it was missing until it arrives, and it immediately beckons you onto your feet. Not only is this track brilliantly put together and hugely powerful in its raw aggression, that great bassline symbolises Lunice's unexpected approach which continually has you guessing at what will come next; these 6 tracks are far from predictable and your mind is never really safe from the assault of his synths.

Thankfully, his production is of a high enough quality that you're always happy to just go with him. Opener Glow is a lighter affair fusing clattering hip hop beats with an angelic sample, there's an ethereal glow to these sounds and when the 8bit melody emerges from the blinding light it's almost too much to take in. Lunice is clearly a fantastic producer, and he has a knack for picking out great sounds that litter his soundscapes, from the drag-inflected sliding percussion and bell sounds of EP highlight Juice to the nausea-inducing pitchshifting in Guardian. There's always a lot going on here, but the compositions are well spaced to suit headphones or a dancefloor, and never feel crammed like they threaten to every so often.

I See U also has a couple of remixes included at the end of the EP. The Blessings' remix changes up the track by changing the positioning of the layers, adding some hard-edged synth and a vocal sample, but doesn't really add a whole lot to the original track. However the second remix is by Night Slugs' crunk master (and White Noise favourite) Girl Unit, who is also probably the closest producer to Lunice releasing at the moment. This second mix seriously hits the spot, bathing the composition in grand synthlines and ramping up the sounds of the original to a super-threatening fever pitch. It's worth saying that the only negative thoughts I have on the EP are more subjective. Bricks is fairly forgettable sandwiched in between two fantastic tunes, and I personally find the untreated synth breakdowns in Guardian and And She Said a little treacly and nauseating, but that's just me.

Combining furious 8bit manipulation and darker grime emotions isn't completely new territory, and on the first few listens the EP could potentially sound like something from Zomby but these tracks are both richer and ultimately more satisfying. Lunice may not be re-inventing the wheel here but this EP, especially the first half and that stunning Girl Unit remix, is a taut selection of fantastically produced dancefloor fodder that definitely demands your attention.


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