Monday 1 February 2021

Think of Fire

I'm taking one of those turns again where I get a bit ticked off to put it mildly. I normally let stuff go pretty easy because for a while now I've tried to live a life that's mostly free of negativity, but I do turn bitter every now and then, but that's OK, it's healthier to release than just sit there slowly building up into a foaming rage. Enter the past couple of days... If I were at all religious I would definitely consider them tests that's for sure. A combination of entitled arseholes, general idiocy and frankly plain irresponsibility has me quietly seething off to one side but I'm going to try and follow my credo of limited negativity - and do a controlled release with some audio assistance.

Yves Klein - La marque du Feu ['The Trace of Fire'] (1961)

Death Magic again sprang to mind. So many pieces of this album could go here, but for instant impact it has to be SALVIA. The sheer sudden intensity of it makes it nigh on perfect for just this occasion. The machine gun beat appears unrelenting, it blindsides you and contiunes to layer on the intensity. And just when you think you can no longer breathe - suddenly you're falling free in a daze. But it's not long before it all comes crashing back down again around you. The cycle repeats once more, only this time the serenity stays. A short and brutal track, SALVIA is the musical equivalent of a sucker punch.

Coming up again after the recent mention - ADULT.'s later work is also a great shout for this theme. While the Why Bother? album is sometimes a little too noisy for my tastes - the EP before it D.U.M.E. really hits the spot, maybe it's the overall shorter length making it easier to digest. At any rate - Hold Your Breath is another great distillation of this mood and perhaps the most obviously Punk influenced tune from ADULT. I've mentioned so far. It might not have the sudden plunge of SALVIA, but it does have Nicola Kuperus putting in one hell of a performance - her frantic delivery wavers between cold and calculating to borderline manic throughout, giving the whole proceedings a beautifully disjointed feel.

I couldn't do a post in this vein without mentioning this one. The Autumnal Crush will destroy you in the most pleasent way. The opening is slightly misleading on this front, but it's not long before things get fairly intense. Something I always loved about this track (and sort of gets spoiled if you read this before listening) is that it absolutley does not let up, the intial post-introduction is already pretty heavy, but it just keeps on going and going with more and more layers - an experience befitting of the Crush in it's title. But like SALVIA, it does eventually let go, and for the remainder of its 7 minute runtime it becomes a much calmer beast. And with that, it's probably the most fitting track here by a long shot. Truly, if there were a piece of Clark's work I could point to that I think best demonstrated why I use that 'Melodic Grit' descriptor - Autumnal Crush would be up there.

Apologies for the slightly shorter (and a little more poetic than usual) post - I didn't really plan this one out! I could have put a couple more selections here but as I said in the opening paragraph, I'm trying not to dwell on things too much these days. And I don't know about you but I certainly feel a little better having written this out and immersed myself in that sound.

I'll be back later this week with more, but until then - as always, stay safe and enjoy the music.


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