Clonki
Seize The Smoke


3.0
good

Review

by Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (103 Reviews)
July 14th, 2012 | 10 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The risky business of breaking new ground.

Obscured in the murky waters of Google’s Russian-English translation, the lack of information about both the artist and Rainy Treehouse, the label, sets us off on uncertain ground. It’s a novelty in the internet era to be left with no basis on which to view an album, but especially in the case of Seize The Smoke it’s refreshing; possibly because it’s a difficult album to stomach in the first place. Not content with mixing three of the smoothest genres known to man - jazz, hip-hop and downtempo - Clonki polishes any sharp edge from his melodies completely. Notes don’t change: they shift; and as such the tracks develop into this loose, wave-like saunter. Not too unlike an old radio scrambling to tune-in as the notes lazily reach their right tones. Mixed in with the classic sample-based jitteriness, it’s an interesting endeavour - indeed it’s one that almost defies explanation - but to the extent that Clonki chooses to pursue it in Seize The Smoke, it’s a small, highly enjoyable step into the great unknown.

There’s a limit to this, however, as the rest of the album sees Clonki experiment with common hip-hop archetypes in what amounts to more of a plethora of attempted styles as opposed to one cohesive album. Clonki moves on to play around with a very upbeat, positively The Avalanches-esc vibe in “Ragpicker” and “My Baby”: juxtaposing this with dark, grimy low-end frequencies in an almost sinister attempt at corruption. It’s not entirely successful however, leading to the weakest parts in what is otherwise a surprisingly solid release; especially from an unknown artist so keen on standing out from the crowd. Saving grace can be found in the fact that these tracks are still rather interesting, though not nearly enough to merit much beyond the first listen.

Elsewhere, we see Clonki relaxing into an increasingly comfortable pace with a strong downtempo sound. “Blueswag” is an exercise in maturity as he picks his past experiments in style, boxes them in more tightly and ships them with a more mellow, complementary vibe. The shifts are still present, but their use is scaled back hugely to the point in which they’re only evident in the backing vocal hum and sporadically at most in the foreground piano. Throughout the final three tracks the energy seeps away further, to the point at which the finale, “Corpse”, seems stripped away completely; hitting that relaxing-but-still-progressive tempo with not much more than drums, bass and a light sprinkling of samples. It’s in these moments where Clonki is most promising, as I think it’s fair to say that up until these final few tracks he was still attempting to find his feet. In most cases this would lead to claims of ‘unfinished’ or ‘rushed’, but with little in the way of background information on the artist it’s nice that the album provides its own context.

Seize The Smoke is not a perfect release. Nor is it very close to that. But for what it’s worth the album does manage to distinguish itself in what’s an increasingly experimental market. Now that he has this niche, it will be interesting to see how Clonki develops his style and hopefully we can look forward to a new release in the near future.



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user ratings (1)
3
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2012


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

First posted here: http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/2012/07/album-review-clonki-seize-smoke.html

FREE on Bandcamp: http://rainytreehouse.bandcamp.com/album/clonki-seize-the-smoke-ep-rth003

How's my reviewing?

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2012


10288 Comments


Boy I like tha way u write

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2012


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thx bbe

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2012


31375 Comments


Obscured in the murky waters of Google’s Russian-English translation, the lack of information about both the artist and Rainy Treehouse, the label, sets us off on uncertain ground


Why should a lack of identity/information immediately put you on shaky ground? This is music, not a fashion parade

It’s a novelty in the internet era to be left with no basis on which to view an album,


Except of course for, you know, the music aspect of the album right????

Clonki polishes any sharp edge from his melodies completely.


Pretty sure polish isn't the word you're looking for here, unless of course you mean that the sharp edges stand out even more

Notes don’t change: they shift;


That's still a change

This really isn't your best work. A lot of your references here are really rather vague, and all I've picked up from this is that there's some upbeat stuff and some dark stuff, there's some samples and, despite apparently adhering to genre archetypes he's standing out from the crowd (or trying to?). You're still writing these really rather horrible sentences as well. I know that sounds harsh, but they're really grammatically uncomfortable

Not too unlike an old radio scrambling to tune-in as the notes lazily reach their right tones.


First of all, this is a broken sentence that should be added to the former, but even so it's really haphazardly written and from a metaphorical point of view it really doesn't work

and as such the tracks develop into this loose, wave-like saunter.


You go from referencing the tracks as a group to talking about a singular here. Either the album develops like a loose, wave-like saunter or the tracks develop into loose, wave-like saunters

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2012


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great.

MichaelSnoxall
July 15th 2012


12163 Comments


Nah Dev, you're silly, shifts and changes are like totally different things. Gosh.

Gyromania
July 15th 2012


15941 Comments


I agree with Deviant's points, harsh as they may seem (but I think he's only trying to genuinely help). I think your reviews would be so much better if you took more of a conversational tone in your writing, because much of your stuff seems unnecessarily wordy and often a little convoluted.



Digging: Lantlos - .neon

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2012


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

don't worry guys, the next one will be track by track

Gyromania
July 15th 2012


15941 Comments


Sorry, I meant no offence, truly.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2012


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

None has been taken, s'cool. I'm moving towards more "conversational" anyway - it'll just take a while.



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