Review: Clearlight – Clearlight EP [RS1009]

Drawing from the roots, and digging to capture his own unique essence on the 140 bpm sound, Clearlight debuts with his 2 track release on New Zealand imprint Redshift One. The Belgian based music producer equips himself with a heavily fortified, dubwise sound across the two unique tracks.

As everything begins, from nothing; “Rooted” initiates out of sparse, distant synthetic atmosphere and intermittent kicks. Spaced amidst the warmth of the ambience, subtle clicks and other hits further detail Clearlight’s percussion. The classic sounds of horns define the title “Rooted” along with the hint of added vinyl crackle. Such a sound is symbolic of the ties that dubstep shares with its older and more definitive relative dub music. This tune drops into a vibrant-yet-spatial halfstep track. Hard hitting snares matched by equally as prominent kick drums. Behind the kicks and snares, select sounds are placed with precision; such as the clanging of bells, distorted crackles and flute notes. The gritty punch of the mid range frequencies gives the track a bit of edge, which balances nicely with the lighter, dubby vibes across the entire tune. Vocal samples used throughout offer a voice to the organic & creative arrangement, which has badman written all over it. Watch out for that second drop!

“Cold Samba” sets out with a thick grouping of atmospheric sounds. What sounds like a whirlwind of dark matter hurling into view, is quickly accentuated with the reverberated sound of automated mechanisms and hallowing cries of eerie synth pads. As the tune drops, it breaks into a furious roll of 4×4 movement. An up-tempo energy derives from the bombardment of the hand drums laid down, and embodies the ancestral vibes that such tribal music entails to. The percussion backing this production is furious in presence and diverse in variation. Clearlight brilliantly sampled a ping-pong ball being dropped on a surface, bouncing multiple times and then reversing that to add psychedelic detail as well as an extra dimension to the production.

“Cold Samba” creates a mental image of a dark cave, dimly lit by the flames of torches hanging on the shadow ridden cave walls of a ceremony of tribal dance. Just prior to departing into an outro, the tune disembarks from its’ 4×4 drumline into a tripped out half step pattern, utilizing the slue of vocal & atmospheric samples used throughout the tune. The powerful percussion, heavy atmosphere, and dark, pungent mid tones work radiantly to give this tune a solid and noteworthy presence. The miniscule and finite details with respect to the selection of sounds being used in these tunes, as well as the specific sounds themselves; add up to make minimal music very enjoyable and equally as complex.

RS1009 is released May 28th and is available from Juno Download.

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