Clone describes Archive as "four raw house tracks from the vaults." Presumably this means they've been cellared in Huismans' hard drive for a while, but feel free to imagine them unearthed from a misremembered Chicago of yore. On brisk opener "Wire," skipping melodies are transmitted as choppy acid pulses, and hand claps are the preferred form of punctuation. It's weaned on the likes of DJ Pierre or Nitro Deluxe, sure, but "Wire" has synthesized too many off-genre impurities for any generic mold to take. "Bounce" deviates further, fashioning a jacking beat from a rattling assembly-line din, and peppering it with gaping yawns of sub-bass à la Peter Van Hoesen. Occasional swells of strings bathe "Bounce" in luxurious pastels, but the palette remains quite stark for the bulk of the track. Creepy, prowling house, it's the highlight of the set.
"Disconnect" features chains of hi-hat, huge echoing hand claps and mechanical clamor. It's the drum-line snare rolls that really stand out, though. Drum programming being the main attraction here, the day-glo synths, sighing chords and intermittent keyboard blurps play a supportive role, and reverently augment the busy rhythms with a hushed eeriness. Melody, as such, is bowled over completely in "On & On," the twittering chirps, sleepy keyboards and acid bass all locked into identical percussive stutters. Accumulated atop what would otherwise be a pretty straightforward beat, they turn the rhythm into a dizzying, droning twitter. It's weirdo house, for sure, but somehow maintains an accessible, "clap your hands to the beat" shuffle.
If there was any concern that Clone Basement Series would be a clearing house for some neoclassical agenda, these tracks should come as some relief. Archive's roots run deep, but this a singular record that's not easily categorized, not even as "the new Made Up Sound."