Clark ‘Kiri Variations’
July 26th Throttle Records
On July 26th the top-ranking electronic star Clark will release ‘Kiri Variations’, via his own label Throttle Records – and as always, he has musically metamorphosized into something fresh and new.
This album of plaintive beauty, eerie wyrd arcadian horror and childlike outsider music epitomises his constant ability to flip-the-script and coherently organise an abundance of new ideas. Mysterious and morbidly beautiful pieces driven by piano, harpsichord, clarinet, strings, electronics and voice are interspersed with fabulously unusual and highly original curveballs: Odd-in-a-brilliant-way, the faux naïve ‘Kiri’s Glee’, evokes traveling minstrels of yore accidentally eating the wrong ‘shrooms, and ‘Coffin Knocker’ has diffracted psych feel, like David Axelrod’s work with the Electric Prunes, but chopped, screwed and scorched.
‘Forebode Knocker’ is darkly funky, like the kind of lost diggers’ nugget unearthed and sampled by RZA, whilst the sonically-perfect ‘Primary Pluck’ unfurls exquisitely, swaying slowly ever forward like a funeral march. ‘Cannibal Homecoming’ is nothing short of Clark’s most song-based composition ever, featuring not experimental voice noises as evident elsewhere, but a fully-fledged vocal – sung by him.
Kiri Variations’ started life as the score to the BAFTA-nominated TV program ‘Kiri’, but only a small (and highly effective) portion of the music recorded was used – intentionally sparingly – by director Euros Lyn. That first incarnation has since grown and morphed into something entirely of its own being; a proper artist album.
“I’m always changing and striving to keep things interesting, but in addition to my usual methods of controlled randomness and tangential ideas, the TV commission was a prominent spark for new approaches. It’s a great balancing contrast with the solipsistic studio album”, Clark explains.
The record allows simplicity and playfulness to shine through: “It’s a skeleton of an album, reduced to bare essentials, but at first it was dense”, explains Clark. “Certain parts are what you could call anti muso – for example the recorder on ‘Kiri’s Glee’ is totally out of tune – but it sounds so colourful. I can’t resist the primary paint of acoustic instruments; it’s an antidote to frictionless digital music.
I want people to listen to this in the same way they would read a set of Roald Dahl short stories; bitter-sweet tales with hooks and teeth and unexpected macabre twists. Proper Witch vibes.”Recently Clark headlined ‘Bach Evolution’ at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall, playing a specially commissioned set that reinvented Bach’s work, accompanied by cellist Oliver Coates.
Last autumn Clark released a double-a-side single called ‘E.C.S.T. T.R.A.X.’, which garnered widespread visibility and praise in the music media.Prior to that, he performed live score accompaniment to Stan Brakhage’s cult classic short film ‘Dog Star Man’, during Max Richter’s ‘Sounds and Visions’ weekend at The Barbican.