Claro Intelecto - When The Time Is Right / Round & Round
If Modern Love faced any doubts after rising to prominence in '07, they've put them to rest in '08. Their quality control has remained startlingly consistent, with their slowly expanding stable of artists churning out slab after slab of the finest dub techno Western Europe has to offer. Take, for example, Mark Stewart, the man behind the Claro Intelecto moniker; after a flurry of activity earlier in the year that saw him drop the acclaimed Metanarrative, release the absolutely massive Rise 12-inch and deliver the final installment of his long-running Warehouse Sessions series all before Spring managed to hit its stride, you'd think his hand might start to get a little weak at the controls. You'd be wrong. After staying quiet for the latter part of '08, Stewart closes out the year on a high note with his latest 12-inch for Modern Love.
"When The Time Is Right"—a languid dub techno cut that's part Basic Channel and part Carl Craig—hits all of the Claro hallmarks. Built around a few choice chords swaddled in dense clouds of delay feedback, the mix is propped up by a sturdy beat that sounds as if it were recorded through a subterranean tunnel. It could easily be a Metanarrative outtake. "Round & Round," on the flip, is a different beast altogether, taking a more aggressive approach and placing the emphasis firmly on the jacking 4/4 pulse. If "When the Time Is Right" was purpose-built for the afterhours come down, "Round & Round" sees Stewart at full-peak intensity, giving Maurizio and co. a run for their money.
While this might not be the most remarkable thing Stewart's ever released as Claro Intelecto, it's also far from the weakest. Showcasing two very different sides of his sound, it's a fitting closer to a year that has seen him at the top of his game.
Wed / 17
A When The Time Is Right
B Round & Round