The East coast of the United States has become a fertile breeding ground for all manner of electronic music over the course of the last few years. I imagine it always has been. In the past there can be little doubt that the sounds coming out of New York were overshadowed by Detroit and Chicago (even if those cities didn’t quite deserve the consistent adulation they received) and for most of us European sorts the concept of East Coast Techno probably meant Adam X and Frankie Bones, and their fierce take on the genre.
Nowadays it’s a little different. Much of the most interesting music currently working its way across the European underground probably started life in Long Island, or Brooklyn, or as with Nicuri here, New Jersey. And whilst the tones and aesthetics of the industrialized sound favoured by X and Bones are still to be found in a huge mass of contemporary New York Music to a greater or lesser extent, the New Jersey scene that came to prominence on this side of the pond due to the work of producers like DJ Qu, Jus Ed and Fred P has flourished with its deeper, House-ier vibe.
Nicuri first came to our attention over here with Ridindatneedle, a single track of low slung House on Strength Music’s Semesters EP in 2008. It was very nearly the stand out track on that release, and would have been by far the best thing on it had Semesters not also contained Joey Anderson’s incomparable Hypno-funk number Three Analysis. Since then Nicuri has turned up on other samplers but full releases seem to have been missing, with only one other EP to his name. Luckily, Mora Music have gone some way to redressing the balance.
A Lucid Dream is Deep House done the way God intended. Where so often Deep House ia a genre that seems to only exist for the In-Crowd to nod their heads to whilst awaiting service in one of those soulless clubs that pride themselves on their VIP areas, A Lucid Dream is the real thing. Ocean waves of Synths and reverb roll above the Abyssal depths, breaking over the reef like bassline that occasionally rises above the upper frequencies like the banks of a broken shore. There is much here that echoes what other members of the New Jersey crowd have done but feels fresher at the same time: the sign of a healthy scene.
Moments is the flip side to A Lucid Dreams aquatic trip. Crunching drums up-jack the tempo and the heat. More dance floor ready than the A side, it recalls some of DJ Qu’s more prowling tunes. The shuffling proto-acid line in particular carries the track upwards into the storm clouds gathering above the horizon. It never quite works itself up into a bona-fide mover of the modern sort, but that’s part of its strength and beauty. Nicuri is a man who seems to appreciate the how otherwise colossal sounds, shown here in his synths, can be tailored to something more introspective and haunting without ever letting it slip into something mawkish or showy. For all its gracefulness, Moments is an effective and functional bit of music, inhabiting that space where House and Techno collide and the mind, body and soul all work as one.