Reviews

With CCCLX, Lunice Claims His Rightful Throne

Initially recognized as a b-boy dancer with a penchant for thick, wavey beats, Lunice changed his focus and shifted to working primarily on music production. He first entered the sphere of mainstream consciousness in 2010 with his debut LuckyMe release, Stacker Upper. Little did Lunice know that he, along with labelmate Hudson Mohawke, would create a style that reigned supreme among the Soundcloud set for nearly a half-decade. The early part of the 2010s became a cacophony of copycats frantically attempting to mimic Lunice’s seemingly effortless touches of hip-hop and futurism-tinged beats, resulting in the explosion of the trap genre. However, none could really make the same kind of tradition-shattering impact that Lunice imprinted on the dance music community. There’s a magic to Lunice’s music—it encompasses you in an enagmatic swirl of heady complexity, yet it never feels contrived. As a testament to his creative legacy, Lunice’s groundbreaking sound led him to the Holy Grail of collaborations: Kanye West.

Throughout the years, the Canadian producer’s been labelled all the conventional titles for an artist that changes the status quo: visionary, trailblazer, unique, trendsetter, tastemaker, and so forth. But, as CCCLX exemplifies, he’s beyond such terms.

Lunice is the king of the modernized trap sound, and he’s here to finally claim his rightful throne, for once and for all.

Perhaps one of the most striking elements of Lunice’s style is his ability to immerse you in sound, using as skeletal a structure as possible. His unusual brand of minimalism is most prominent in the ferocious “Distrust”, which received the video treatment from Sam Rolfes earlier this year, and “O.N.O”, a rattling track that drops in everything from guiros to a theramin. Other cuts like “Tha Doorz”, “Freeman”, and “Mazerati” are sonically in-line with the previous work we’ve heard on EPs like Higher Ground, One Hunned, or his 2014 single “Can’t Wait To”.

Despite these comparisons, there’s a noticeable shift that’s occurred between CCCLX and Lunice’s past EPs. The tracks on CCCLX are all a bit more subtle than the aforementioned releases, which is understandable—the album’s been in the works for years, and in that time Lunice’s sound and technique has matured. You can feel a new level of precision in these songs, making them stand out amongst the many imitators who built a catalogue based off of Lunice’s older offerings. The title tracks are indicative of the artist’s transformation; the Roman numerals CCCLX add up to 360, and the collection of “CCCLX” songs unveils a narrative of never-ending growth. Subtitled “Curtain”, “Intermission”, “Costume”, and “Black Out”,  each entry is an understated reminder of just how far Lunice has come in his musical journey—and where he’s going next. Much like the Earth continues to revolve around its axis, Lunice continues to creatively evolve.

Royalty often used Roman numerals alongside their names, in order to distinguish themselves from other rulers. These numbers identified the period of their reigns, and made their names forever synonymous with eras of history. With CCCLX, Lunice’s namesake is clearly cemented into the annals of modern electronic music. Many have tried to ascend to his level of trap production, but it’s impossible to replace the pioneer of a genre—as long as the world keeps turning, Lunice will forever be the king.

Stream the album below, and purchase CCCLX on LuckyMe’s official website.

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