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Empty the Bones of You


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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.

Customer Reviews

Its not about contributing to a genre...

Genre is fun, and maybe useful for a time, but for now, lets drop the genre game and examine music on its own terms.

You see, just because, say, I make something that, upon examination, exhibits straits and styles that could give it the classification of ambient, doesn't mean that it isn't completely unique in the images it conjures up in the listener's head.

Music is about much more than what you actually decide to use for the sound, it is what drives that decision, it is what the artist is trying to capture or harness.

There is some part of music that is only perceived by some sixth sense that we have. Music journalists can't categorize it, and I am almost killing my own statements by even writing about it.

Chris Clark has been making what he feels driven to make, and I have been listening to it. This is an album filled with music that can be deeply explored.

Pulverized music boxes

Apparently this critic is coldly looking at the mechanics of the genre and overlooking at the emotional journey of Empty the bones of you. If you were one of the listeners that grasped the rosy/childish/developmentally sick themes of the Richard D. James Album, or the labyrinth of hydraulic waves of Trip Repetae, then you will trip on this album's pulverized music boxes. You will feel pulled by electromagnetic waves- mental pictures will rush to your shore. It's beautiful on its own right.

Nice album!!

Probably is not the best entry level to the IDM genre but the album still very nice and awesome distorted bass and beats. Is a very commercial album of Clark but still broken the expectations of my mind and ears!!!


Born: August 29, 1979 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, Englan

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 2001. Recorded while he was still at university, it was a promising first record, full of cold, terse synths...
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