This EP by Manchester based artist Cleric is on his new imprint C L E R G Y, where Cleric literally means “A member of the clergy.” He has previously released his powerful, raw productions on well respected labels such as A R T S, Figure and EarToGround. Most of these have found their way into my record bag and I’m a fan of his solid and consistent sound, so when I first heard about the new project Clergy, I knew good things were to come. This four tracker does not disappoint!
“Blitz” is the straight down the line Cleric sound that I know and I love. The solid percussion runs all the way through, but the track breaks halfway and the skittering hi-hats and repetitive, industrialised sounds move to the back making way for a lush, drawn out synth line which pans around inside the head in a rolling sea of warmth. The kicks and hats return, but this simple change has transformed the track, adding a beautiful euphoria to the machinistic rhythm.
“Restore” features some properly wide echoing bass sounds. The clip of the track starts with another warm, tripped out synth note and builds up tension before letting the bass ride. A flat kick and regular half-note hi hat measure out the time but when you listen to it properly it’s the second hi hat that lends the track pace. This is measured and powerful stuff, the further the track goes on the more you realise it. A breakdown is accompanied by building percussive loops, vying for attention with a flat hissing sound, adding drama and making this a seriously jacking track.
“Distant Cry” opens with an insistent percussive break punctuated by occasional handclaps before the track drops. Again, warm synth notes feature, this time arranged into a more upfront melody and accompanied by some fat bass drops – nice touch – and soft static introducing the breakdowns. I’d love to hear more of this track (as the clip fades that melody is definitely mutating and becoming sharper) as it obviously needs to be appreciated in full.
“1514695B” reveals another side to Cleric. This has a classic chillout feel (I’m reminded of some of Nightmares on Wax’s work), it’s ethereal synth note perfectly complimented by the deep, deep bass/sub-bass burbling away in the background. The sound achieved on the handclaps here is just superb. I’d be happy seeing the sun rise with this washing over me I can tell you; beauty and just the right amount of edge.
Listening to and reviewing this was an absolute pleasure and I’ve had the opportunity to witness a couple of DJ sets from this man recently – I can’t recommend him highly enough and I’m definitely looking forward to more from the Clergy label.
– Reviewed by Stuart Ingram for deathtechno.com