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Empty the Bones of You

Clark

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Album Review

Empty the Bones of You is a decent but not revolutionary entry in the moody, crunchy realm of IDM favored by Boards of Canada, Autechre, and Aphex Twin, in his more ambient incarnations. Any of the album's 14 sonic noir pieces would fit nicely on a film score, preferably in a gritty crime drama or a spooky zombie fest. Genre fans should know exactly what to expect with just a look at the snappy and somewhat creepy sleeve from Designers Republic: unsettling keyboard drones, thunderously deep slow-moving bass tones, and enough bizarre sound effects to keep listeners on their toes. As Chris Clark isn't adding anything new to this particular style of music and melody is basically an afterthought, it's up to his arrangements to provide a unique atmosphere. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a mastery of pacing or sequencing, or he simply chose a somewhat bland blueprint for the album's layout. From track to track, the music shifts through inspirations such as those mentioned above, drifts decidedly into ambient Seefeel territory for better or worse, and occasionally provokes an emotional response. The effect is such that one can't help but see Clark as a follower or mimic operating in a genre that's past its peak. Released a time when IDM forefathers like Richard D. James, Mike Paradinas, and Autechre have to struggle, and sometimes stumble, themselves to innovate and generate an audience, Empty the Bones of You brings to mind fond memories of days of electronica past, but fails to add anything new to the equation. Still, with stronger material and a more adventurous scheme, Clark's obvious skills as an engineer and producer would most likely bear exquisite fruit.

Biography

Born: 1978 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Mixing computer-generated crunches, pops, and clicks with organic synthesizer tones and heavily processed sounds, U.K. native Chris Clark creates tense electronica that struggles between a sense of natural wonder and exuberance and dark, foreboding undercurrents. Clark, who lived in Bristol and Brighton before settling in Birmingham, debuted on Warp with the wintry Clarence Park, released in May of 2001. Recorded while he was still at university, it was a promising first record, full of cold, terse...
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Empty the Bones of You, Clark
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