Chris Clark’s first album, Clarence Park, was one of the albums that really grabbed me when I was first getting into Warpy electronic IDM whatever music. He seemed to be an exciting prospect, but I didn’t quite fully get into the EP and album he released in 2003.
Well, now Chris Clark has finally re-emerged with some new tunes! Warp say he is no longer Chris Clark, just Clark. Although the cover looks to me as though it says ‘Lark’, or ‘(Lark)’, or maybe ‘Clark)’ at a stretch. Which is it? We just don’t know. I’ll stick to ‘Chris Clark’ for the time being.
This 3″ CD is a mini-EP, a taster of what to expect from Clark’s new album. Given that four of the five tracks have been left off the album, it is mouthwatering to imagine what the standard of the tracks on the album must be like.
The track that is on the album, ‘Herr bar’, opens Throttle Furniture. It is a lot more intricate than previous Chris Clark work. Those subtle little drum rolls and and glockenspiel-style sound make this sound very much like a darker Four Tet. Good track.
‘Re-Scar Kiln’ follows up, and if Clark really wants to discourage people from comparing him to AFX he is going about it the wrong way, because this sounds like it could easily be a remix of some Analord tracks. Nevertheless, it’s a great track.
‘Urgent Jell hack’ comes next to slap you about the face. This is possibly the most exciting track on the album, a madcap journey that never stops changing, but sounds cohesive throughout, retaining a common thread. I think it’s a bit Squarepushery actually with an DrukQs-era Aphex Twin slant towards the end. I am truly in trouble for doing the lazy and comparing him to AFX and Squarepusher, huh?…
Aaaargh. Track four is ‘Frau Wav (brief fling)’. I heard this one before I got the CD, because Warp had it available for your listening pleasure on their front page. I was seriously sceptical about this track at first. It sounded too brash and simplistic. But get underneath its skin and it’s just as dirty as all the other tracks, especially during the second minute. A properly fun track, and it segues nicely into the closer, ‘Dusk Swells’. It is a brooding ambient piece, one of those ones that seem neverending; quite minimalist, but always changing slightly at the same time. Think a dark version of Sigur Rós’ ‘Smáskífa’, if you can.
All-in-all, this is another step up for Chris Clark. It makes the gap in between Clarence Park and his 2003 material seem much smaller than it was. I’m looking forward to the album now!
Update: Bleep now have this available to listen.