the infinite betley catalogue, part two: michael clough on soundcloud

February 17, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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The artist Paul Klee famously described drawing as ‘taking a line for a walk’.  Improv progtronik veteran Michael Clough agrees wholeheartedly, although he replaces ‘drawing’ with ‘music’, ‘a line’ with ‘relentless analogue throb’ and ‘a walk’ with ‘pummelling filter work out’.  My love for Clough, former comrade in both Termite Club and super-group Truant, has been documented here and here and seems untouchable despite lengthy lulls in communication and his feckless desertion of Leeds for the dubious pleasures of *cough/splutter* that London.

He recently dropped me a line alerting me to his presence on Soundcloud and, delighted, I have been thrusting this link in the direction of anyone I think might listen.  There are three tracks up at the time of writing, each an epic of maxi-minimalism.  That is: minimal resources stretched and manipulated with the patience and resolution of a master interrogator.

‘Ohne Titel’ and ‘Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Edit 2’ (if only Mozart had a MS-10, eh?) are companion pieces, featuring pulses that are comprehensively wrung out over 23 minutes and 11 minutes respectively.  Both are darkly humorous (check out the robo-cheeping that begins the former, then the frantic mating dance of the fully grown robo-poultry 90 seconds into the latter) and thoroughly compelling.  It’s the sort of analogue rigour that you always wanted from, say, pan sonic.  Thus, not only do I recommend that you spend half an hour of your finite life attending to what is, in essence, a series of throbs, pops and knocking but I also insist you do so at a deafening volume.  Unless your fellow commuters think you are listening to a compilation of your favourite car alarms it isn’t loud enough.

However, these two tracks are merely the supporting programme.  The main event is ‘Into Sunlight’: a glorious 25 minute drone piece as pungent and delicious as warm camembert.  Imagine the sound made by a truck full of loosely packed Tibetan singing bowls driving at speed down a long, straight stretch of recently resurfaced autobahn.  Yeah, I know, I know: as good as that.  Intoxicating.

Soundcloud site here.

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