Luciano is back! After ceding Cadenza’s concentric grooves to a range of newcomers and repeat offenders – Pikaya, Andomat 3000 & Jan, Loco Dice, Digitaline, Argenis Brito, Alejandro Vivanco, Petre Inspirescu – the label’s founder returns with his first new original material for Cadenza in over a year. It’s not like he’s been sitting quietly – in the almost year and a half since Luciano and Thomas Melchior’s brilliant “Solomon’s Prayer/Father” (Cadenza 11), Lucien Nicolet has collected a multitude of musical studies – so called études – from the French word étude meaning “study”.
The four tracks on Études Électroniques (Cadenza 21) find Luciano invigorated and inspired, putting his talents into the service of dancefloors at their most delirious. With its delicate skip and its slow sunrise flare, “Montana” opens the record on a blissful note, calm and suffused with light. A hollow bass tone puffs away like a glassblower as brittle rhythmic patterns spin round and round. Swelling and drifting, weightless and iridescent, it feels like chasing dawn in a hot- air balloon.
“Fochedrem” eases off the throttle and cracks an ear-to-ear grin; a stubby one-note bass line beats out a kind of cartoon funk as the answering riff splinters and shapeshifts between cowbell, organ and piano. It’s as slippery as the deck of a storm-tossed boat.
“Masalla” features liquid congas and feathered metallic details that stand on end like magnetic shavings. Laid-back and polyrhythmic, it’s a future Latin maysterpiece. The tune’s centerpiece is a slowly unspooling melody—a cadenza in the truest sense of the word, in fact—that recalls the syncopated refrains of Luciano’s classic Live @ Weetamix.
The unhinged “Nunca Tiene Bastante” closes out the EP on a particularly twisted note, as lightheaded as a hit off a nitrous balloon: it’s a paean to insatiables everywhere, overlaid with deranged laughter and driven by a beat that never stops churning.