I’m not – by definition – any sort of techno guy, but I am a Warp Records guy. And I’ve always gravitated towards the darker side of electro, murky, moody synths and sinister swirls of sound. Atmospheric drum’n’bass, say. Or the dark and stormy techno. That’s – so often – my cuppa. And so Chris Clark’s music – written and released under just his surname – is often the perfect brew for me. Never more so than with his latest, this eponymous release, by my count his seventh full-lengther using this moniker.
It’s the perfect middle-ground between the most recent Aphex Twin percussive tinkerings and the dark storm-world of Andy Stott’s Faith In Strangers.
Another between-point comparison might be if you imagine Squarepusher having at some of the earlier Nine Inch Nails.
But it isn’t ever just as moody – nearly ponderous – as those sorts of comparisons might suggest. In fact if this is the soundtrack to any apocalypse then it is altogether danceable. And all the better for that.
It’s those moments that break-up and breakaway – like the “comedown” that arrives in the middle of Snowbird, the synth vamp that introduces The Grit In The Pearl and the John Carpenter-esque segue-feel of Petroleum Tinged that provide some of the highlights here. But it’s an immersive experience, an album that wraps itself around you, takes your ears for one wicked journey. That you get to, sometimes, jiggle your hips a tad too (and only if you want) is of course some strange, but cool bonus.