Review Summary: One of 2008’s best efforts seems limited at first, but Clark manages to blend his strengths with a previously ignored aspect in his music.
With a simple electronic wave and the turning of the radio station “New Year Storm” kicks off with a fantastic beat that mixes in with more electronic fuzz. With each cycle the beat gets heavier and more brooding. Cymbals rush in the background to add some depth with static noise that isn’t chaotic, but holds much rhythm. You would think with such songs as “New Year Storm” ‘Turning Dragon’ would feel hollow and cold, but Clark adds some ambient atmosphere with all of his electronic grooves and static pulses to give it much warmth, something you wouldn’t expect.
Without looking at your track list you most likely wouldn’t notice “Volcano Veins” would be a separate track from “New York Storm”, not from its lack of variation, but for the seemingly great continuation from the previous song. The beginning of “Volcano Veins” feels like an extension from “New Year Storm”, but soon turns into an electronic infused techno beat. With its entirely different approach Clark still manages to keep up with the pace and style. Clark manages to add a dance feel within the album although he is notoriously known for adding IDM within his albums like his previous effort of Body Riddle, he instead expands his musical variety with the warmth of electronic, and cuts somewhat a large amount of ambient and IDM material from his work in the beginning. Still the results are fantastic. “For Wolves Crew” clocks in at 7 minutes, but the pulsating rhythms and IDM beat garners it through quickly and at a pace of skillful manner with ambient stops throughout the song it still retains your enthusiasm throughout. “Violenl” starts oddly, but retains the albums nature with its sheathing background and electronic waves.
Clark manages to fuse the best elements of his music from his previous works while adding electronic warmth throughout. Although it isn’t relatively new to him, he brings the electronic fuzz within the music that he previously did not do. The ambient stages within some songs like “Gaskarth / Cyrk Dedication” are impressively structured while still adding small noticeable beat breaks that keep the listener interested. The upbeat beginning to the largely slower middle area is perfectly blended. The heavily electronic tracks like “New Year Storm” and “Volcano Veins” are weaved into a slower, less electronic middle region of the album. Clark strives for a more ambient feel to the album and he succeeds while not hindering the atmosphere of the album. “Ache of the North” is truly the best mixture of ambient waves and electronic minimalism; it is quite beautiful and relaxing. There are a few problems within the album; “Mercy Sines” doesn’t bring anything new to the table within the album and trudges through uneventfully. Surprisingly “Hot May Slides” feels like an Aphex Twin contribution from his ‘I Care Because You Do’ album and doesn’t feel like it belongs. The one gripe I have against this album is that it doesn’t manage to stick with one area, whether that is in ambient or electronic/IDM (if you really care to separate the both). The ambient tracks are fantastic and so are the few heavily electronic tracks, but finding the median would have been appropriate. I recommend you grab this if you can; it is quite beautiful in an ambient and electronic sense. The closer “Penultimate Persian” sums the album quite nicely.