Lucy Métropolis, Montreal QC, May 29

Lucy Métropolis, Montreal QC, May 29
Photo: Trung Dung Nguyen
After his ambient modular set on May 28 at the MAC, Italian-born Berlin-based producer Luca Mortellaro — aka Lucy — took to the stage almost immediately after Rrose's astounding set. Performing last after an already incredible night of performances is no easy feat, but Lucy was more than up to the task, taking us on an hour-long journey that surprised at every turn.
Taking full advantage of the grid of huge screens in the background, the digital projections anticipated what was to come next, making the experience all the more exhilarating. At times cavernous and techy, at others bass-heavy, Lucy demonstrated his considerable knack for juxtaposing opposing musical binaries and turning them into cohesive and provocative compositions. He accomplished this with a deftness that made it look not only easy, but seamless. The set was a constant play of addition and subtraction, slowly removing elements while incorporating earlier pieces in new contexts, resulting in a continually expanding machine that took over the Métropolis.
Lucy managed to repeatedly trick us: just when we think he'd go left, he went right, and when we thought he'd go big, he went small. He managed to lull us all in a false sense of security, with a repeated pattern of slow boom-claps that seemed endless. But he'd suddenly launch into almost tribal tech-house territory, before dropping into a last lull. In this case, he was prepping us for his final assault of controlled chaos, ending his set on an incomparable high. And with a final film dialogue sample, the journey was over.