Clark - Death Peak - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Clark - Death Peak

by Justin Pearson Rating:7 Release Date:2017-04-07

Electronic musician Clark is a shifter, just not in the complete sense. While his music constantly moves and takes on different shapes, there's still a core aesthetic that can be found throughout his work. Death Peak takes the experimentation of 2001's Clarence Park or even 2006's Body Riddle and employs the cold sheen that informed much of 2014's brilliant self-titled Clark. But while that more recent album had a gloss over the mystery of its cracked and fissured soundscape, here the icy synths and morphing melodies seem to signal an opening up, a digging into the depths.

It's almost as if the songs on Death Peak are looking inward, trapped in the shells of their construct. 'Slap Drones' sounds like industrial influenced techno with a bouncing beat that seems bent on escaping, but never quite sheds its skin in favor of a less claustrophobic space. It's a somewhat schizophrenic song, but it uses confusion and high energy to its advantage.  

One feature of this album that makes it stand out from previous ones is the use of vocals. The apocalyptic 'Catastrophe Anthem' is tempered by an angelic choir of children repeating "We are your ancestors", making it sound like some ghostly, yet reassuring call in the midst of an impending disaster.

'Un U.K.' exemplifies the best aspect of Clark's music, which is the driving, searching tone that remains even upon repeated listens. That sense of forward vision is still here, it just feels slightly tempered by a more reined-in pursuit of exploration.

Death Peak feels like a come down from the higher plane that was Clark, but certainly not a let down. It's more contemplative rather than fevered with emotional extremes. But that's just fine when you're still one of the most exciting electronic artists out there today. At this point Clark doesn't really need to prove anything, as there's a full body of evidence to testify on behalf of his uniqueness and ever-changing artistry.

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