Published Oct 31, 2014It's been a busy couple of months for Warp, first ushering Aphex Twin's return to the limelight and then releasing Flying Lotus' post-jazz magnum opus, You're Dead!. While the two aforementioned records might draw more press, it's Clark who scales the podium with his eponymous release. Recorded over a four-month period, in a barn outside the secluded English town of Newton, Clark is an icy fiend, rife with harrowing tones and zeniths of coarse techno. The isolation in which the album was produced flows through the veins of the record, especially the ambient tracks, which are ample and at times far more powerful than the beat-driven ones. Closing track "Everlane," in particular, is something to get completely immersed in. It's the beautiful moment when the inhospitable alien planet is terraformed into lush greenery, finally capable of supporting human life. It's designed to be consumed — as is the entire album — on headphones, with no distractions.
While it is overtly digital and occasionally menacing, as on "Sodium Trimmers," the album still reaches some playful nodes with the angelic vocals and xylophone flurries of "Snowbird," not to mention the colourful synths of "Unfurla." At times luring you in with misty salvation, at others forcing you to take cover from a blitzkrieg of caustic textures, Clark is anomalous but deeply rewarding. It's the type of release you could easily live inside for weeks and still find interesting nooks every single day. (Warp)