Lucien-N-Luciano

Blind Behaviour

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Swiss/Chilean producer Lucien Nicolet has been refining his winding, ever-unfurling tracks for several years with numerous solo releases and collaborations on Mental Groove, Transmat, Perlon, Bruchstuecke, Klang Elektronik, and Cadenza (typically as Luciano, though he also goes by Lucien-N-Luciano, as he does here). Like mate Ricardo Villalobos, Nicolet brings a natural assortment of emotions to the otherwise uniformly downcast, subdued hues of microhouse -- and, despite the cunningly percussive nature of his productions, they consistently hold a sense of buoyancy that most of his contemporaries either lack or avoid. Blind Behaviour is his first true album, following a couple years after an impressive live set for Thomas Brinkmann's Max Ernst label. Most of its contents are brand-new and up to the standard of his best vinyl releases, making it equally appealing for newcomers and disciples. "Madre, Mother & Mère" is one instance where the producer breaks from the Batcave-dwelling tendencies of his brethren; practically festive in spirit, it's Latin house unlike anything you've heard from Masters at Work or anyone else, fitting what seems like dozens of voluptuous elements into a spacious setting. He's also just as effective when avoiding the 4/4 altogether; on "La Dance des Enfants" and "Ice," his talent for creating slight unease through ominous keyboard textures and pensive beats is put on thrilling display. If there's a gripe to be had with the album, it's that it seems like Nicolet in abbreviated form, which is actually no fault of his own. It has more to do with the fact that he can't truly be contained -- minus the time constraints of CDs and vinyl, his tracks would possibly stretch out infinitely, to the hypnotized delight of the listener. It's no coincidence that the two tracks that bookend the disc are both the longest and the best. Still, the mere illusion of infinity that he creates is effective enough, and it only provokes repeated, braced listen-throughs.

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