In recent years, a new generation of female artists have been gleefully dismantling the gender-based barriers of a traditionally male-dominated electronic music scene. Efforts by a cohort of immensely talented producers and DJs have proven crucial in providing a much needed update to the perception that bass music is a boys-only club.
One such DJ pushing the boundaries and kicking open every door she can is LCY, the fresh-faced alias of Bristolian bass-selector and 6 Figure Gang member, Lucy Helyer. Equipped with an unstoppable work ethic and unwavering commitment to progression, she’s grown to become one of the most sought after DJs in UK bass.
Heyler’s previous grime-orientated incarnation L U C Y, saw her obscuring her face with variety of masks, driven by intentions of deconstructing audience expectations, and her desire to be classified by her music alone. Recently, she’s begun to see the mask as hindering that original goal, often becoming the focus of her professional image. With this in mind, Lucy has decided to recalibrate her direction, dropping the mask and the ‘U’ from her name in the process.
LCY’s latest release, a self-titled EP under her updated moniker is a celebration of her recent successes, from the launch of her label ‘SZNS7N’ in 2019, to her new found direction. The EP features four tracks of forward thinking percussive electronic music, stripped to its most necessary elements, with each track being titled by a letter from her name. Throughout the release, LCY skilfully slices and manipulates breaks at will, highlighting her expertise in the field of organised chaos. Layered with only the smallest semblance of melody underneath, with each track, LCY lets the drums do all the talking.
The first track, ‘L’, a nightmare-fuelled breakbeat jaunt opens with garbled voices and scattered kick drums, alongside an instruction to “listen to the following announcement”. As the track progresses, the intensity of the percussion propels everything forward, with breaks merging into rolling latin drums. The track closes with another necessary instruction, “welcome, don’t forget to breathe”.
‘U’ continues the rhythmic exercise, this time with a more playful drum melody, slowly unfolding with progressive variations. A stuttered voice tells the listener “come with me if it’s not too complicated”, before being transformed into a melodic device during the latter half of the track.
'C’s atmospheric intro sets things in motion, with drum breaks constructed of winding cogs and gears ramping up the energy before everything comes full swing. Scattered layers of breaks mix and blend alongside the EPs first prominent use of bass, with an underlying dem-bow rhythm, making this one a total body-mover.
The release closes out with track ‘Y’, a Cthulu-summoning techy-jungle banger. LCY ups the energy to catastrophic levels, making for one hell of a finale.
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