Clark: Superscope (Warp)
This 2-tracker from Chris Clark is a curveball after the unusually lush intricacies of his previous double whammy of his Iradelphic album and its follow-up EP Fantasm Planes. Having seen Clark perform late last fall, the title cut is no surprise, with a jerky groove of effects and synths that wanders in circles around a chunky, uptempo rhythm section.
It feels like Clark’s oscilloscope visuals, noodly and spazzy and strangely monochromatic compared to his often expansive arrangements on previous releases. And yet its claustrophobic squirm works, shifting and writhing over its thud-thud staggered kick and choo-choo synths that fill in overhead, sounding like a runaway 2D freight train. Despite feeling kindred to the post-dubstep UK bass music sounds of the last few years, there is still something other about Clark’s production that veers it into something more alien. By contrast, “Riff Through The Fog” starts off with startlingly clear melody, a catchy refrain that loops over his otherwise textural and skittering arrangements.
It’s definitely the more sedate companion to “Superscope,” but it’s indeed a welcome one. It’s so smooth by comparison that it can be tempting to write it off as a B-side, but in reality I think “Riff Through The Fog” is more likely to get repeat listens from me. It’s a handsome combination of all of the things in which Clark excels — melody, unusual sound design, mix, straddling the dancefloor and a world better suited for headphones.