Waldskin
Clarity Before the Crash


3.7
great

Review

by Dewinged STAFF
March 16th, 2021 | 27 replies


Release Date: 03/05/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "We've met before, haven't we?"

Clarity Before the Crash is a tale of many nights, a year, if we are going into the specifics of the recording process that has put to test Waldskin's will to see it through. Looking back, it really has been a tempestuous time for the world, but the Swiss trio has somehow managed to transform the surrounding violent energy into a soothing stream of trip hop for solitary roads and nocturnal electronica that evokes the abrasive melancholy of legendary acts like Portishead, Massive Attack or Nine Inch Nails. Influences that singer Maryam Hammad knows how to channel blissfully through the silky tones of her voice.

Waldskin's unorthodox line-up of instrumentals, which include electronic drums and pads, several banks of synths, a sumptuous cello, and a wide array of inscrutable noises and subtle guitar overdrives and levered notes, allows them to create subversive passages of early 2000s trip hop. Dark and moody excerpts of hazy pop that call for the quiet unrest of the midnight hour in tracks like "Odonata", which oozes with the Middle-Eastern flavor of a dune rider down a desert night sky, or single "The Shore", which diligently pulls from Lynch’s Lost Highway with anxious beats and burdened vocals.

The band's first full length draws from the noir style of the black and white comic strips of Frank Miller's Sin City as much as it uses a cinematographic film grain as textures for their music. There's a scent of Submotion Orchestra in tracks like "Empty Vessel", echoes of the crepuscular stimulus of Two People's brand of nightly tunes in songs like "Sharing Atoms", or even more atmospheric cuts like "Pitch Black", which contribute to the rich palette of sounds that Waldskin are able to conjure in this, their absorbing debut.

Released through German independent label Motor Music, Waldskin enters the game with a heavily paced and emotionally oppressive album. There may be times that the emotions that run through Clarity Before the Crash feel devoid of true intention, as Maryam’s singing style is occasionally defiant and even apathetic, as exemplified in a song like “Reel”, but as all good trip hop ever did, it's an album that takes its time to sink its claws into the back of your memory. Once it does though, trust that it will set you in motion, leaving it to pure mental inertia to take over, tone deaf and blindfolded, to wherever it belongs.




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user ratings (18)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2021


24224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Sweet, sweet stuff.



Buy/Support/Listen: https://waldskin.bandcamp.com/album/clarity-before-the-crash

Digging: Zao - The Crimson Corridor

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2021


2812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

swiss + trip hop + 2p/portishead rec + lovely dewi review? ok yes on it right this second

Digging: Lunation Fall - Near

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2021


24224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

It's not revolutionary but it's a chill good time, hope you enjoy it Jesp.

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2021


2812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

4 tracks in and definitely enjoying it, singer's voice is absolutely wonderful

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2021


24224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Yeah man, love her tone, although some times she lets off a bit too much to my taste and sounds kinda lifeless. Promising though.

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2021


13964 Comments


More "Hi Im Wald" jokes incoming.

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2021


2812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hi nocte im dad. did i do it right???

this is an easy 4 for me, great record

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2021


13964 Comments


I think so, I might be too much of a boomer to tell

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2021


24224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

"More "Hi Im Wald" jokes incoming"



Counting on it lol

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2021


24224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Thanks for the upper slot my dear overlords.

cold
March 16th 2021


6008 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I dig

Digging: Citizen - Life In Your Glass World

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2021


24224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

I dig that you dig.



Not much in a trip hop mood huh Sput.

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2021


13964 Comments


I think there was a conversation about "upping" the rep of lesser known sput genres. Wonder how that's going.

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2021


2192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review Dewinged. I checked this out earlier today, will give it another spin soon, enjoyable stuff on first listen.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2021


24224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Cheers Sunny.



"Wonder how that's going." As you can see, it's going great! lol

Nocte
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2021


13964 Comments


A few more of these on the front page and it's probably a good start.

nightbringer
March 17th 2021


1879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh this screams "must check"

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2021


2192 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is enjoyable stuff. Not really in the sweet spot of my musical taste, but something I could see myself returning to in a particular mood.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 17th 2021


24224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Agree Sunny, same here, it's good but didn't blow me away. For a first it's pretty decent though.

nightbringer
March 18th 2021


1879 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is well executed. Liking it for sure.



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