Top 100 Artists of the Decade: #37 Clark
The Top 100 Artists of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one artist and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 artist of the decade!
Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.
Chris Clark has emerged as one of the shining stars of cutting edge electronic music. Having shot to the top of the Warp Records roster with the release of his groundbreaking album Body Riddle, in 2006, Clark continues to challenge and impress. Clark’s style is marked by a staggering complexity that integrates IDM and glitch with elements of jazz and hip hop, perfectly capturing the organic and spontaneous feel of a good old-fashioned drum set. Unpredictable rhythms are deconstructed and dissected while delicate and thoughtful melodies unravel on top of them. Clark’s insightful musical sensibility is surpassed only by his impressive production skills and laptop wizardry.
The album Body Riddle is the type of record you purchase after hearing approximately 2.5 seconds of the opening track. Having quietly released two previous records with Warp, Clarence Park, in 2001 and Empty The Bones Of You, in 2003, Body Riddle came as a profound progression for this young but seasoned producer. The album was an instant favorite within the walls of the Warp headquarters, a much coveted and glorious accolade offered only to a select few. With explosive yet subtle beats and the perfect use of distortion, the tracks seem to be liberated from the confines of MIDI and drum machines, while retaining that certain subliminal quality that is IDM.
Clark does indeed stand proudly among such legendary Warp artists as Aphex Twins, Autechre, and Boards of Canada. But Clark truly has something unique to offer. The spontaneous feel of his wandering tracks bring us into a fresh new landscape where improvisation melds with mechanical glitch. Hard, gritty beats dance softly beneath the quintessential IDM synth patterns we have come to know and love. Tracks twist and turn, full of surprises, jumping from barrages of broken beats to moments of contemplative ambiance, where melodies wind down like a broken toy.
Clark has rejuvenated the IDM sound for a new generation of fans as well as producers. His cinematic music has spawned several excellent experimental videos. Taking the stage with a live drummer (Rob Lee aka Wax Stag), he continues to push the genre in new directions. Clark’s sound is an expansive labyrinth of evolving textures, as vast as it is refreshing. To stand among the greats at Warp is truly an honor - and Chris Clark has earned it.
- Michael Charles
Check back tomorrow for the next artist! To see the full list of the Top 100 Artists of the Decade, click here.