In the world of contemporary electronica, where record sales are inevitably eclipsed by producers swelling egos; it’s a rarity to encounter an artist whose legacy stands not only for his inimitable talent, but also his humbleness and passion for talking about his craft. We sat down with Clark before his Sydney show to talk about his new self-titled album, what inspires him to create, and what it takes to stay relevant.
This is Clarks 8th full-length album, and is the evocation of anticipation and curiosity exploding across a serene white snowfield somewhere in the countryside of England. The colossal industrial techno overtone is commanding, but also textured and complex enough to be taken seriously outside of the basement of the Berghain. But it’s the emotional volatility and unpredictability that defines Clark’s sound and puts him a cut above the rest. Traversing the line between dense contracting synths and wandering instrumentals; the album finds more balance than previous releases, which leant towards overcrowding. Everything is perfectly placed; from the winding piano melodies swept away by storms in ‘Strength Through Fragility’ to the haunting slices of celestial vocals pitted against cumbrous crashes in ‘Snowbird.’ The mixture of contrast and conflict creates dialog in each song, as if the “elements of a track are in conversation with each other.”
4 Things You Didn’t Know About Clark
- Cannibal Corpse and the Point Break soundtrack inspired him to create music
Clarks discography has a plethora of notable stylistic influences from the jazzy undertones in Body Riddle, to the more classical and acoustic instrumentals found in Iradelphic. It’s an easy assumption to make that he was classically trained and cut his teeth on his parent’s record collection, but it was in fact the Keanu Reeves classic 1991 thriller Point Break and death metal band Cannibal Corpse which inspired Clark to make music.
“I did grow up on eclectic sounds,” he says musing on his ‘mainly rap, rave music and metal’ record collection. “You know that film Point Break? The sound track to that and Cannibal Corpse. If you really want to be crude about it; that’s it, that’s all that I do!”
- Getting hiiiiigh is part of his process
Outside of placing himself into a frozen solitary confinement in a barn he found on Airb’n’b in Lincolnshire, Clark’s only ritual for creating music is, like a true Brit, getting as high as he can on tea in the morning. “Caffeine, just get as high as I can on caffeine and then I just circle through the day with that,’ he says “Just lots of tea in the morning.”
- He thinks Trap sounds like plastic surgery
After 8 full-length albums, dozens of EP’s and a plethora of remixes, Clark has carved his own niche and thinks artists often step straight over being inspired by new music into conforming to trends to stay relevant.
“You know when you hear someone suddenly do something that’s a bit trap?” He muses, “it sounds like plastic surgery, like you’re trying to keep yourself relevant by adding all of this fake.”
“Its nice to explore but I don’t like to conform to that really. Rather than feeling like I need to do an ambient track and have the footwork be over it, I just enjoy the footwork for a what it is.”
- He loves Run The Jewels
In between touring, working in the studio, and composing music for his girlfriend; Melbourne based choreographer Melanie Laine’s new project while in Australia; Clark saw Run The Jewels at the Forum in Melbourne last week. “It was amazing,” said Chris, “they are really good live, like classic sort of hip-hop show with nothing but a Killer Mike an El-P and a DJ and it sounded huge.”
Friday 23rd January
Saturday 24th January
Rocket Bar, Adelaide
Sunday 25th January
Mojo’s Bar, Freemantle