STACIAN is Person L is Oakland resident, solo artist and academic Dania Luck. Beginning in the American Mid West, STACIAN has been an ongoing Bay Area concern since 2008, deeply involved in the minimal wave and underground electronic music scene.
A dystopian vision of alienated humanity, broken communications and technoid mal-forms, Person L is her most fully developed full length and a leap forward from 2012’s Songs For Cadets. Moving away from the primitive Cold Wave of previous work, Person L manages to create a bleak dystopia without relying on Ballardian cliche, though still invoking concrete prisons and urban disassociation. Person L is a throbbing, murky underworld that revels in imperfections, a submersive, digital swamp bleeding through the club.
Themes of humanoid alienation and identity confusion abound. Person L is the nominal (and sole) band member of STACIAN, a manifestation of Luck’s that re-creates a near-human face in the mirror. Album opener Volx is a massive stomper, 909 kicks bringing an almost electro-glam thump into the stereo field. Luck’s skill as Person L and as STACIAN is in maximilising minimalism. Volx is a simple composition, an arpeggiated analog synth and simple kick-snare but it creates the drama Luck’s vocal thrives on. Headstand is similarly huge sounding, though here the track unfolds gradually with synth strings eeking out a simple melody before the catastrophising kick ramps up the pressure. It’s a wonderful exercise in abstraction vs. body moving dynamics. Album single Telephonix is the closest thing to a conventional pop song on Person L, with murky electronics belying a thrilling Cold Wave dancer. We’re lost in the throes of miscommunication: in placing our trust in electronic communications we’ve divorced ourselves from human interaction.
On Side 2, Dirgent heralds a darker portion of the album. A slow burner with a blown-out low end anchoring the doom, it marks a dark wave of distortion that swells up and consumes the listener. The narrative turns in on itself Remote Cntl, ironically marking the most human of the tracks here. Though the album is devoid of any overt feminist sentiments, here STACIAN covertly samples a male voice man-splaining electronic music before burying him in electronic sludge. It’s absurdly thrilling. Spooky Action At A Glance takes John Carpenter-esque atmospherics into Stacian’s Maximalist approach, the horror blow up to kitch, day-glo proportions. Album closer gNoMoN takes a dub rhythm and blasts it into the Cold Wave outerverse, a menacing doom to close Person L.