Claro Intelecto - Warehouse Sessions Vol. 4
Manchester’s Claro Intelecto (Mark Stewart) serves up another delicious slab of deep, dubby techno in time to celebrate his recent and well-received set at Sonar. If you saw him in Barcelona or if you’ve heard the other volumes in this series, you will know what to expect: post-Maurizio beatscapes constructed around a heavy bass with enough cracks and fissures in the structure to let plenty of dark, chemical light in. Enough at least to allow subtle metal melodies and industrial flowers to bloom. The essence of Stewart’s sound has always been a compulsive slowness, a kind of concussive effect, and the B-side ‘Post’ is the better example of this – it’s a marvellous late night heart monitor with echoing and chasmic dub drifts mounting like sand dunes before blowing away without a trace. Later there are twinkling piano lights and sensual ocean waves, but it can’t last forever – suddenly the cut returns and ends as it began: adrift in the dub zone and detaching slowly into sleep. ‘Instinct’ on the A-side, while still slow, seems less so because it is more playful. Bass stabs plumb the depths in phases, interlocking and unwinding from mischievous snare sparks and the gears of cyborg machines. As a whole, Volume 4 is seductively nonchalant, such that it leaves you floating somewhere. Fingers crossed that Stewart’s artist album, which is out soon, will also be as good as this.