- I once interviewed for room in a flat where all the other tenants turned out to have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I didn't take the room (are you kidding me?), but lately I've been imagining a similar state of affairs over at Modern Love HQ. The "knackered house" sound that Andy Stott kicked off has dug in like a disease over there, with Demdike Stare, G.H. and now Claro Intelecto all slumping into the woozy world below 100 beats per minute. Fortunately, all of them know that tempo is just one part of the equation, and they've all found different ways of filling the yawning spaces between the trudging beats.
Quite in contrast to Stott's incinerated sonics, Claro Intelecto goes for clarity on this EP for Delsin (incidentally, his first EP for a label other than Modern Love since 2005). There's a requisite hiss of static on the skulking, monochromatic "Second Blood," but Intelecto's synths are brighter than his peers, and there's even something almost sprightly about the way the bassline kicks up its heels. The track may not do much, but it holds your attention, in part thanks to Intelecto's careful use of side-chaining, which gives every bar the feel of a down pillow being fluffed.
Wolfgang Voigt's Gas project is a clear precedent on the lethargic "Heart," with the merest hint of kicks and claps to move it forward; it's all about the pastoral reverie of the string pads and glassy pings. The closing "Voyeurism," at 115 BPM, sounds positively upbeat compared to the other two cuts. The softly pumping chords come close to traditional dub techno, but Intelecto's supple bass and cymbals are enough to make even that tired style sound fresh again.
A Second Blood