Andy Clark has been building quite a name for himself on UK imprint Bass Agenda lately, showing a keen interest in pure, authentic Electro music. Having featured already on his "Oscillating Devices" EP, not to mention the label's "Series Sampler", he compiles this time around a full length album displaying in full view, just how deep his sound can really go.
With "The Call Of The Void", Clark dwells on the concept of moments in our lives when the other side seems to be inviting us back over. Not necessarily attempted suicides, as people who have experienced this "affirm the will to live" as he says in his own words, but moments when we seemed to be lured into doing things we know we shouldn't do, like ending our own existence in some unconscious way. He goes on to say that: "I also interpret it as the will to do what you are not supposed to do, or to be different. So I have tried".
Starting the album, "Power Off" gently begins your detachment from this reality as the pads linger on like like the remains of fading memories. When you least expect it, the warm analog stabs, determined breakbeats, and razor sharp growls enter as a playful sequence dances in front of you like machine elves welcoming you into the void.
Next, "Fully Computerized" comes in with fast-paced Electro beats; the way in which many UK artists seem to craft their rhythms. This one a bit like Soundex Phonetic or his counterpart Chordata. The hypnotic bassline here is an endless wave that modulates back and forth like the heartbeat of the song. Intricate bits trickle down as the melodies grow in complexity thanks to vibrant stabs and intriguing pads that lay in the background like the humming of ancient spirits.
"Dark Visions" continues on, shredding the veil of reality with synths that weave in and out of each other like strands of the continuum, while "The Chant" begins to morph the experience into a darker and more menacing encounter with the other side. Here, as the beats march forward with fierceness and relentless tribal rhythms, heart-throbbing modulating synths meet verocious growls that zoom by as you begin to disintegrate from the matrix and enter the center of true existence. Powerful stuff!
Moving on, "0 Point 2" is an acidic feast that pulses about like the light of quasars that surround you in this place of shimmering arpeggios and celestial pads that envelope you with warmth, yet a slight sense of desolation. Broken female vocal bits sound like energy beings that let you know you aren't alone here in this expanse of timelessness.
"Transonic" gets going again with sped up tempos, that sound like rapid heartbeats, as dazzling galloping sequences cycle through, met by radiant drones, bathed in bizarre pulsing tones that shower down like white light.
Listening through, we find "Sonder"; a surprising twist in the album that introduces old school 808 rhythms; still a bit faster than typical Electro Funk beats, but still full of toms and vibrant high hats. The melodies here at first sound playful, like lullabies echoing through time from the mouth of the grand architect, as otherworldly stabs shatter through spewing energy particles in all directions.
"Afterglow", the next song as we begin to wind down the experience, introduces 4x4 beats as modulating drones that sound like alarms emitting from another capsule in a spaceship; low and dreadful, are met by enigmatic pads and charming step sequences that pull you in with intelligent and crisp textures. Beautiful song!
Second to last, "Knowhere" is a mischievous reminder of what the void really is. The expanse of nothingness from which everything emanates is a place of broken consciousness pulling itself together in a manner that is chaotic yet profound and lusting for the thing that ties it all together...experiential and emotional energy! Here, that process is displayed perfectly as the female vocals once again rip through your soul, as subtle stabs begin to hint at melancholy. On the other side however, frantic arpeggios roll through like mechanical oscillations, as mind altering pads hypnotize you. Bewildering tune!
Last, "L'appel" is a ferocious acid powerhouse of relentless grooves and sharp raw oscillations; perhaps the way it may sound and feel as you sling back into your body from this otherworldly trip we have been on. Stompy rhythms and gleamy stabs complete the production with a real high-energy feel. Intense way to end an album!
Andy Clark is a name to look for these days, no doubt! A true purveyor of the Electro sound, who pushes the boundaries with an eclectic approach that while it has a signature sound for sure, also manages to create unique visionary soundscapes with each song that pierce through you while inspiring abstract thoughts of life, death and everything in between. Very interesting theme for the album, and a record produced with clarity and balance. Thrives on the higher frequencies for the most part, but it doesn't fatigue the ear in any way. Not an easy task to achieve!
Highly recommended album on Bass Agenda imprint. Grab yourself a copy from the label's Bandcamp and support.