The summer of 2012 marked the explosion of trap into the mainstream with TNGHT's self-titled EP, TNGHT, spearheading the movement. From Apple to Adidas commercials, the apparent takeover of festival culture, to TNGHT producing for Kanye West, it felt like trap and TNGHT had become overnight fixtures in the music scene. And as quickly as they emerged, they vanished. In 2013, the two producers behind TNGHT, Lunice and Hudson Mohawke, announced that TNGHT would be going on an indefinite hiatus, opting to focus on their own solo projects. Now, four years later, Lunice has returned with his long-awaited debut album, CCCLX.
CCCLX was made over the four-year period following the hiatus of TNGHT, and it sounds like it. Pronounced "360," the album is meant to serve as a "theatrical showcase"–a theme that is made clear from tracks such as "CCLX (Curtain)," "CCCLX II (Intermission)," "CCCLX III (Costume)," and "CCCLX IV (Black Out)". However, CCCLX is not merely just for show. A clear maturation of Lunice's sound as a producer, with instances of minimalistic production to create powerful moments of tension coupled with the darker trap elements that originally made TNGHT such an enticing project, CCCLX proves itself as noteworthy time and time again.
CCCLX features a host of guests, from PC music producer SOPHIE, Montreal hip-hop and rap artist CJ Flemings, New York City-based rapper and producer Le1f, hard-hitting Miami rapper Denzel Curry, and a number of others that further elevate Lunice's highly stylized production to grand heights. For instance there's "Drop Down," a standout track that meshes the seemingly disparate worlds of Lunice's dark bass-heavy club music with Sophie's futuristic and experimental popping production for a surprisingly harmonious creation greater than the sum of its parts.
And while CCCLX is full of these wondrous bouts of collaborations, Lunice still shines brilliantly on tracks where he is the sole producer, such as on the hauntingly enveloping "Mazerati." The final curtain call leaves Lunice in the limelight, as he masterfully executes his ambitious vision of a sonic "theatrical showcase"–a showing well worth the four-year wait.