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The techno world is an ever-expanding universe that is taking sound beyond the now. It’s the music of the stars, the moons, the planets, and Lucy Cliche is one of the brave space cadets taking us there.
Sydney-based electronic artist Lucy Phelan has been a DIY musician for the past 10 years and her most current solo project, Lucy Cliche is a sweet, sweet blend of experimental, electro and industrial.
Lucy Cliche‘s experimental sound is layered in techno’s thumping drums, deep industrial synths and coloured in with magical bleeps.
An effective use of looping and running a complete hardware set-up displays not only her awesome talent for the genre, but also her creative use of analogue. We hit Lucy up to find out where it all began.
‘I started experimenting with hardware years ago in my band Naked On The Vague, I had an old casio keyboard and a Boss Dr Rhythm drum machine which I would process with various effects pedals like delay, distortion, flanger and a looper. That really was how I started to become interested in how sounds can be altered and expanded.”
Analogue production is a very organic process, and a lot of patience is needed in the pursuit of new sound.
“I spend a lot of time with specific pieces of equipment. It takes a while to get to know your hardware, especially the more workstation style pieces that do a few things.”
Lucy’s career has seen her work on a range of projects over her years in the industry. From Naked on the Vague, a four piece indie-punk group first formed in 2005 with Mathew Barking Hopkins, to the experimental Knitted Abyss girl duo with Anna John (Holy Balm, Raw Prawn) to the ambient tape manipulation of Half High.
Her work constantly diverges from the expected by molding and shaping psychedelic, low-fi and techno sounds. Connecting with different artists also plays a big part in inspiring her taste.
“I’m really enjoying a lot of stuff being made by people in Australia at the moment, like Nina Buchanan from Melbourne who does driving and expansive synth heavy jams, and Nicky Crane with his difficult to pin down, wild and wonky broken techno, as well as the more prolific producers like Dan White whose releases I’ve enjoyed for a while now.”
Most recently, she released her EP Drain Down with Noise In My Head Records, a definitive experience in industrial sound. She poses a drain as an unknown space; going down it requires risk and will inevitably take you on a journey of discovery.
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Much can be said for Sydney’s underground music scene; a labyrinth of new ideas and creativity just waiting to be uncovered. It’s a scene Lucy is very proud to be a part of.
“Sydney has always had a really resilient underground scene for as long as I can remember, which I think is partly to do with the struggle experienced by legitimate venues in the face of noise complaints, property developers and more recently the lock out laws, which are total bullshit of course…”
“But yeah it has become more difficult so I’m always impressed that people find a way to keep on putting on shows, festivals, and parties in the face of so much regulation.”
Speaking of shows and parties, Lucy recently played at 1800-Analogue, a live hardware session in Marrickville. Going forward, you can catch her on Friday September 30 at Goodbar in Paddington. Details are here.