Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Clark - Empty The Bones Of You

Empty The Bones Of You is not Clark's most popular album.  It was done before he dropped the "Chris" from his name, and while it's not exactly shoved aside, Warp doesn't highly advertise it, and Clark has changed his style of music since then.  But, it happens to be my personal favorite Clark album.


Most of his music is hyperactive and experimental, with insane, intricate beats underpinning melodies that fly around the scale like there's no tomorrow, with heavy distortion accompanying them.  Empty The Bones Of You is a nice change from that.  It's quiet, introspective, and oh so creepy.

"Betty", for instance.  It opens sounding like a Boards Of Canada track, meditative and slightly upbeat.  And then, subtly at first, then not so subtly, starts sounding wrong.  The entire track conveys a sense of creeping anxiety and fear, a sense of dreading what's to come.  It's excellent.  There's also the songs "Holiday As Brutality" and "Slow Spines", which I consider to be a pair.  Like "Betty", they project a feeling of uncertainty, with high-pitched whistles and glacial, crunching beats moving the song along.

But my favorite song off the album has to be the delightfully unsettling "Umbilical Hut".

This song sounds like it was thrown together by some Lovecraftian creature that has only a loose grasp of how music fits together.  Unidentifiable, sweeping industrial underscore worryingly organic sliding noises, along with clacking akin to a giant insect clicking it's mandibles together.  There are odd pauses and gaps in the music where there really shouldn't be, and the song as a whole is the aural equivalent of something crawling into your ear and rooting around in your brain.  

The album isn't perfect, of  course.  Some of the songs are too repetitive, and others aren't that great.  But in my opinion, it's excellent either way.

The third, and final part of these posts will be up soon.  Soon-ish.

No comments:

Post a Comment