Self Mythology


Double LP version. 180-gram vinyl. Gatefold cover with luxurious gloss print. Includes download code. The third entry in Lucy's trio of adventurous full-lengths is visually introduced by artwork of a pearl-bearing shell, designed by Stroboscopic Artefacts resident visual artist (and Lucy's brother) Ignazio Mortellaro. This drops a subtle hint as to the nature of its contents: just as a pearl slowly forms within its enclosing body in response to organic challenges, Lucy's work is also a kind of crystallization of memory and experience into an artifact of great value. Listeners will be struck immediately by how different Self Mythology sounds from past Lucy productions, while still retaining the feel of relentless questing ("precision and exploration," in Lucy's words) that defined his two previous solo albums, Wordplay for Working Bees (2011) and Churches Schools and Guns (SA 005CD/STROBO 002LP, 2014). The album is enriched by several layers of ambience and by the wordless, improvisational (yet still somehow narrative) vocals and flute of Jon Jacobs. Without a doubt, it's an album with an initiatory atmosphere best heard in one sitting, with as little interruption as possible. However, unlike many initiatory rites, this is no arduous ordeal; great care has gone into connecting each chapter of the album with the same silver thread of entrancing storytelling. On standout pieces like "She-Wolf Night Mourning," electronic arpeggiation and persistent synthetic flutters perfectly merge with the unique tone colors of resonant acoustic percussion and pensive woodwind. Elsewhere, pieces like "A Selfless Act" reconcile technoid pulses with melancholic yet intoxicating echoes of Mediterranean musical traditions. Interestingly, many of the tracks on Self Mythology refer to old legends and well-known fairytales or to more broadly defined states of consciousness ("Samsara," which features an especially strong, sustained choral interplay between glassy synth sequences and earthy flute sonorities). This is where the album is truly unique and relevant in its ambition. The interplay between the graphic design, the vocal and flute performances of Jacobs, and the sound design chosen by Lucy aims to be an intimate audio autobiography of its creators while also referring back to the stories that have shaped human destiny for millennia. This work is a meditation upon the reciprocity between personal hopes and fears and collective dreams and nightmares; an exploration of the endless interplay between the universal and the deeply individual. It is the tale of that uncanny process by which our own conscious experience draws from the pool of archetypal information, while also contributing to it.