Rob Clouth: Transition EP + Transition Remixes EP (Mesh, 2018)

April 18, 2018 at 10:20 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Rob Clouth: Transition EP

Rob Clouth has previously released music on Traum Schallplatten and Detroit Underground, and his latest work arrives on Max Cooper’s Mesh label. Not enough people are familiar with Cooper, but if you are, this is similarly elegant, melodic, and brimming with exquisitely detailed sound design. Opener “Silica” sounds like it’s sampling bottles clanking and drumming on pots and pans, but it’s so fast, intricate, and rhythmic (not to mention bass-heavy) that it doesn’t register as a sound collage. “Like a Second Sun” skitters and lunges, scattering odd sounds and voices across the board, but the pianos keep everything grounded. Then they get glitched up and the beat kicks into footwork mode. “Shedding Layers” is a long techno track with a twitchy beat and slowly encircling synths. The electronic filtering makes it sound like there’s tense strings bowing rapidly, foreshadowing some sort of attack. “Transition” scrambles voices until they’ve turned into seafoam.

Rob Clouth: Transition Remixes EP

Once we’re done with this short but fascinating ride, there’s the remixes. Max Cooper’s “Shedding Layers” is at least as club-friendly as the original, but also packs in a mind-numbing amount of rapid glitches. Ben Lukas Boysen’s “Transition” begins with the scrambled voices of the original, but eventually fuzz and scattered melodies and sunbeams win out. The mysterious Brecon turns “Silica” into even more of a head-nodder (just watch for those flying knives), while Chihei Hatakeyama suspends and dissolves the glitchy kitchenware percussion in his usual high-floating cumulus clouds. The remixes are really good but the originals are outstanding.

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