The Mark of Excellence



> > Apr 05 2012

Clark - Iradelphic
By Daniel SylvesterElectronic albums usually (or at least try to) fall into one of two camps: collections of genre-defined singles or cohesive, album-length visions. Clark's Iradelphic conveniently falls into the neither category. Warp Records lifer Chris Clark's sixth LP works more like a random collection of ideas completely independent from each other, collected over 12 three- and four-minute increments. While many critics and fans will undoubtedly compare Clark's soft-focus synthesizers and plucky guitars (not to mention the summer of love album cover) to Boards of Canada, songs like "Com Touch" and "Ghosted" manage to strew together clashing rhythms, tempos and moods while staying anchored by sepia-coloured accents. Clark manages to utilize Martina Topley Bird's vocals in a way other producers fail to, allowing her to ebb and flow on "Open" and "Secret." As demonstrated on wandering, philandering three-part suite "The Pining," Iradelphic is great stream-of-consciousness art. This has the same type of narrative that has allowed mind-wandering work from Virginia Woolf and Derek Jarman to be described as "challenging."
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"Secret" is a great song! Martina Topley-Bird's vocals ground Clark's exasperating rhythms and melodies and bring a whole new dimension to his intelligent compositions.
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