Clark Clark Wrap
Two years on from 2012’s bold but eventually solid experiment with acoustic instrumentation Iradelphic, Warp Records royalty Chris Clark is back with a statement so concrete he’s happy to put his name on it, twice. Clark immediately smacks of earlier efforts; the maximal tropes pioneered by Clark and which have gone on to be so influential are present and correct, though with less emphasis on industrial basslines and time signatures in flux. Having dipped and dabbled over recent years, it feels like a reconnection with the essence of Clark; a reacquaintance with what makes him such a cherished figure in the history of UK electronic music, filtered through the experience of experimentation.
Notes of familiarity ring around the record’s considerable expanse, flooding each corner; early-to-mid 00s offerings like Empty The Bones Of You and Body Riddle exist as spectres through the seething mass of sound, with the ever-looming, ever-snarling electronics leaving Iradelphic a distant memory.
Clark has always excelled at bringing disparate strands together in the album format, and here the dreamy day listening of Strength Through Fragility’s ghostly piano progression makes way for Banjo, a heavily visual, quivering electro banger, without ever feeling stilted. It sets a pattern for the album as a whole, and that’s why he continues to thrive like few others. Clark is a Swiss Army Knife of a record, and the Warp veteran has succeeded in keeping his nimble fingers intact.