Empty The Bones Of You (Warp Records)
By: Cam Lindsay
Chris Clark's 2001 debut mini-album Clarence Park was a refreshing addition to the already mesmerizing collection of Warp's catalogue. Though it may have been slightly overshadowed by the prolific Richard D. James and the sexed-up Squarepusher releases that year, Clark's tuneful IDM made him an instant favorite for label followers. Having already released the blistering Ceramics Is The Bomb EP in May of this year, Clark's already showing how eager a beaver he is to share his vision. Empty The Bones Of You is his debut album proper and can easily be added to the shortlist of 2003's most adventurous electronic album along with Four Tet's Rounds and Manitoba's Up In Flames. Lapping up a dark and minimal, Detroit-flavored sound on the opener "Indigo Optimus", Clark's admitted obsessions become apparent immediately. With the constant jerks and transitions, while dropping beats and noises on top of one another, it becomes more complex than an intense game of Jenga. "Holiday As Brutality" follows with one of his most proven melodic moments to date, thanks to a Boards Of Canada-influenced element that comes off like a steel drum filtered through an organ. "Early Moss" provides much of the same, adopting the persona of a twisted music box skipping furiously. Most effective is the near-hip-hopness of "", which quickly fades in and out of an ambient consciousness. The middle ground for ETBOY, it acts as both the pacesetter and the climax of the record. "Betty" ends the album properly with a farewell bid fitting enough to play when global warming and pollution finally take over and destroy humankind. Chilling yet not completely frightening, there's a serenity to it that brings a peaceful calm once it draws to an end. Three cheers for the madness of King Chris.
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