- When I heard that Serge Verschuur, AKA DJ Serge, had decided to close Clone, I felt a strange mix of emotions. On one hand I admired the honesty of the decision: Although the label rarely slipped up, they were right to stop releasing music because they felt disillusioned with the scene. On the other hand, I was disappointed: Surely it should have been one of a myriad of substandard labels treading water that made this call and not one of the few imprints that—right until the very end—actually meant something?
The news also made me feel sad, like a small part of my life had died with the announcement. While I've never been label-loyal and find the behaviour of those who religiously collect every release on a certain label sycophantic and in some cases obsessive, I own roughly half of Clone's releases. The label had an inordinately high hit rate and more than nearly any other, was synonymous with great electro(nic) music.
And so to the final act in the Dutch label's 15-year story: Remaining unpredictable to the last, Nazerus sees it focus again on the type of music that it issued by Dopplereffekt spin-off act Duplex a few years ago. "Mystery" is also a departure for Marco Bernardi, the Glasgow-based producer who has been putting out emotive electro under his own name or as Octogen for Soma and Frustrated Funk. Instead of his typical shuffling 808s, Bernardi opts for straight kicks and breathy synths that unravel gradually over a stop-start, jerking rhythm. It's textbook Detroit techno, but Bernardi's warm production and ear for melodies mark it as more than a simple tribute.
Mark August's remix sees Clone departing further still from its chosen script, although his clicky house version fails to capture the spirit of the original track, stripping it of its sensuous melodies. In contrast, Redshape takes Bernardi's work into a darker, more mysterious domain. Austere chords that are unmistakably Redshape swarm menacingly over a pulsing bassline that leads "Mystery" into a moody climax.
It's a heady swan song, but thankfully, it's just a case of farewell rather than adieu. The label's Classics sub-label will continue to deliver newly pressed house/electro/disco rarities, Clone's shop and distribution outlets continue to do the business and there have already been suggestions that Clone the label will resurface in the future. This isn't the last we've heard from Holland's men you'll (n)ever see.
A1 Mystery of Nazerus
A2 Mystery Of Nazerus (Mark August mix)
B1 Mystery of Nazerus (Redshape remix)