ARTIST l.u.c.a.

LABEL International Feel (ifeel078)


GENRE Ambient, Downtempo, Krautrock



MEDIA: Near Mint (NM)

SLEEVE: Near Mint (NM)

Rome’s own disco wizard L.U.C.A. aka Francesco De Bellis is back for his second LP Terra, hot on the heels of his Venus 12” EP earlier this year. In this far-reaching album, the Edizioni Mondo founder explores the deteriorating relationship between Man and Nature, and the dire consequences. The album is split into two themes – part one is Consacrazione (Consecration) and side two is Coscienza (Conscience) – as L.U.C.A. charts a trip through mankind’s psychic universe, and imagines worlds beyond our physical dimension.

The opening composition Cities is an uptempo number that slowly comes into focus, as dreamy drum machines emerge from the urban bustle, before settling into a soulful groove as keyboard, upright bass and guitar figures dance across bright percussion. As it builds up a head of steam, the piece gives way to an ambient, tribal breakdown, which is also echoed in the following song, Drum Talk. This second tune sets up in a fourth world dreamscape of drums, synths, and abstracted echo effects, and is peppered with word fragments from the bush of ghosts. By the time we’ve reached the third track, Congiunzione sounds like travelling at singularity speed, beaming in from a future where human consciousness and gaia can finally dance on a cosmic plain.

Part two of Terra details how revelation of the spirit can guide the mind, as Time Spirals rises out of a drum motif with a nod to classic ragas, as a disembodied voice asks questions on the nature of corporeality. The sound design is just as front and centre as the sitar and fretless bass, and the song gives way to a richly-layered soup that sounds like the vast space between atoms. It’s this shift from composition to ambience that is the dynamic core of Terra, giving L.U.C.A. plenty of space to showcase his next-level audio and arranging skills. Midway through part two, Giallo Assoluto begins with reverb tails and choral voices before expanding in brightness and texture until the audio field is practically levitating your hi-fi speakers, vibrating them with drones, twinkling keys and shards of digital noise. The closing composition Ritorno al Domani is a perfect balance of optimism and mystery. Tension and release collapse in on themselves as waves of ambient pads crescendo and then break over stretched-out sonic turbulence, before reversed synths bring the listener to a closing door, and the end of the journey.

It’s a mind-expanding musical exploration of other worlds and parallel universes which are surely all around us, and in many ways serve to remind us of the marvel that is our own planet.

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