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on June 6, 2004
i'm giving this album 5 stars just to offset the first reviewer's completely unhelpful review and completely arbitrary 3 stars, which it doesn't deserve. i don't think he even listened to this record. chris clark is really good, in fact i was totally surprised because i was expecting a lame aphex/autechre copycat, but actually he's a really awesome u-ziq/mouse on mars copycat.
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on October 13, 2003
In 30 short minutes, Chris Clark kicks and screams his way into the ranks of IDM heavywieghts like autechre, squarepusher and aphex twin. The only fault I could find with Clarence Park is it's length. It's so short and so good, you find yourself drooling like Pavlov's dog for more. That's not a bad thing. Chris Clark densely packs more scattered beats, staccato percussion, eerie piano melodies and weird sounds in those 30 minutes than aphex twin, autechre or squarepusher can do in a full length disc. Not to discount those IDM greats or to say Chris Clark is better, there is isn't anything new here that hasn't been done better by the above artists. However it's simply amazing what he can achieve with a minute long track. The mood and atmosphere he can create within that space is the mark of a true electronic genius. 'lord of the dance' is a really good song but the simple and short 'chase' is my favorite off this release. you should definitely consider buying this if you're into any of the above IDM artists or if you're looking for something a little bit crunchy, a little bit scary, not too experimental yet purely perfect.
listen with headphones. listen very loud.
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on November 10, 2002
Alright, as far as IDM goes, this CD may not be top-notch, but it's up there. Clark is quite good at taking seemingly random noise and hiding a rythm underneath it. Thing is, this CD is so short (only 31 minutes). I want more! Most tracks are only a minute or so long, and that's simply not enough for me. But, at's price, this CD is worth a buy. Heck, the track titled "Lord of the Dance" is worth the price by itself.
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on April 19, 2002
this album is really fantastic.the first track kind of scared me off for a couple of days,but when i came back and put the head phones on,it literally blew my mind.(check out the 'chainsaw and bass'on "the dogs")
any fan of richard or mike would appreciate this piece for the sheer skill and craziness chris clark serves up.
as a matter of fact,maybe richard should have a listen to this.his latest is a stinker.
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on March 10, 2002
As far as record covers go, that cute picture of the smiling boy in his snow-covered backyard may be one of the most decieving ever considering this is an IDM record having more than a little in common with Aphex Twin's Drukqs. But I'm guessing Mr. Clark chose the picture just because it looked cool. And more power to him.
Clarence Park is a tight record. And I mean *tight*. Tight in every respect. It clocks in at just over 33 minutes, and throughout the duration, your attention doesn't waver for a second. There's fourteen tracks, as you can see, of varying duration. That's because Chris Clark took a drastic step for IDM records by putting short piano ballads in to juxtapose the crazier electronic melanges much like Richard D. James did with Drukqs. The problem with Drukqs was that it was too huge and collapsed under its own weight. You'd have to have a massive amount of sonic invention to keep up a behemoth like that. In that way, Clarence Park is the antithesis to James' album. It takes the same idea, but puts it on a much smaller, and hence more workable, scale.
Clarence Park opens with a slow fade-in looping piano melody that gently changes through its minute and a half duration. It's nostalgic and doesn't prepare you at all for "The Dogs" which sounds like a giant waking up from a century of rest. Still, the segues from piano to eletronics on this album work much better than on the Aphex Twin album. I'm not sure exactly how that is, but it seems as though James' piano tracks are more show-off wankery when Clark is using the short interludes to compliment his electronic pieces.
"Proper Lofi" is a song that springs life into glitch. Its catchy melody is one of the album's more memorable moments. Then there's a more ambient piano passage intterupted by "Bricks," glitch gone hard rock. A loud fuzzline dominates the song which also features a cut-up vocal sample. "A Laugh With Hills" is another plodding song that conjures up the image of the giant inncoently going about his work, but in a depressed manor.
"The Chase" is a big bass buzz-a-thon that serves as a great intro to the album's centerpiece, "Lord of the Dance." Its upbeat sea shanty melody gets played by a synth whistle while a seemingly broken beat comes in at all the right places. Like in the best IDM songs, the percussion plays just as big a part as the melody. Then to round things out perfectly, there's a few more exceptional numbers, including "Diesel Raven," a song that rocks out more than should be allowed by law.
Getting back to that little boy on the cover, one of the reasons I like this album is that it gives you a sense that Chris Clark is a just a guy living in Maine who likes to make music as a hobby. That's what makes an impeccable first release like this so enjoyable. And what's really got to hurt Richard James is not only did Chris Clark beat him at his own game, but Clark is James' protege residing on James' own record label. Ouch.
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on December 27, 2001
I heard a snippet of this album (which is extremely difficult to download from the net) and fell hopelessly in love. I'm one of those jaded electronica fans who has been getting into more esoteric territory, so this suited my palate admirably. The song "Diesel Raven" is pure perfection so it would be redundant to try to describe it. "Clarence Park" is replete with watery and christalline textures, a kind of attention to aesthetic detail that is sometimes missing from Warp and Rephlex releases. The harmonics do usurp the beats, but in such a way that they enhance eachother; they fit together like they were from the same family of sound. "The Dogs" sounds like a vacuum-cleaner apocalypse, with delightful tripping rhythms. You will wish, as I have, that you had written this album. A must buy!
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on October 30, 2001
Clarence Park is a sweet nugget of Warp style electronics, full of brutally crunchy beats and swooning melodies. A very familiar sound to anyone who listens to Autechre, Aphex, and so on. There's a dark side, and there's a playful side. Some tracks are totally funky, and your head will bob as if spastic. Then the next track will be so thick and suffocationg you will be forced to lie on the ground, begging for mouth-to-mouth.
It's an incredible album. With rumors that Aphex Twin will be leaving the label, along with Brothomstates, Chris Clark is the future sound of Warp.
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on June 3, 2001
Wow. [...]incredible piece of work. "Diesel raven" is one of the dopest tracks I've EVER heard from ANY artist, including the almighty Richard D. James. Pure intensity, sheer exhilaration. Beautiful. This man destroys.
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on June 1, 2001
A surprisingly bouncy release from Warp. I know nada about this character, but bought the CD because a) the cover looked fantastic, b) I'd heard promising clips from the album, c) it was dirt-friggin'-cheap, and d) I was placing an order from Warp Records anyway (new Autechre CD, yadda yadda yadda, you understand). I was expecting something in the realm of Richard Devine's recent 'Lipswitch,' but was surprised to find that although Chris Clark definitely has the Warp penchant for unearthly noise, lush soundscapes, and seemingly arrhythmic beats, the disc was catchy as hell from start to finish. The tracks are short and stay vital as such. The catchy-as-catch-can momentum of this album whisks the listener off before a cut can even get its coat off. Its well worth a listen. I guess I could describe it as levitating somewhere between Autechre and Plaid (if I felt like it, and evidently I did). But that's a semi-god-awful description, so maybe you would be better served to pay a visit to the hot hot hot Warp site, where you can check out beefy samples of a number of songs from this album. It isn't the best electronic album I've picked up this year, but its pretty darn good....
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on May 22, 2001
Very nice LP from new Warp signing. Worth getting if you like the Richard D James LP, Boards of Canada etc. Full marks to someone who dares to release 32 mins of quality music on an LP that lasts 32 mins, instead of the usual 60+ mixed bag efforts.
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