|clipping. — Splendor & Misery (September 9, 2016)|
clipping. — Splendor & Misery (September 9, 2016) √ Ve svém úsilí o koncepční přísnost album zanedbává to nejpodstatnější, totiž aby zapojilo posluchače do děje hudebně. Klade velkou váhu na příběh, který inklinuje k abstrakci.
√ “The only important elements in any society are the artistic and the criminal, because they alone...can force it to change.” ― Samuel R. Delany, Empire Star
√ “The L.A. rap deconstructionist trio, which features Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs, has released their highest~concept work yet: a hip~hop space opera.” ― Mehan Jayasuriya, Pitchfork
√ Beginning as a harsh remix concept in 2009, the project grew into an experimental noise/rap trio.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Genre: Rap, Avant~Garde
Styles: Underground Rap, Left~Field, Hip~Hop, Noise
Album release: September 9, 2016
Record Label: Sub Pop Records
01 Long Way Away (Intro) 1:05
02 The Breach 0:56
03 All Black 6:15
04 Interlude 01 (Freestyle) 1:35
05 Wake Up 2:05
06 Long Way Away 1:30
07 Interlude 02 (Numbers) 1:04
08 True Believer 3:44
09 Long Way Away [Instrumental] 0:51
10 Air ‘Em Out 3:50
11 Interlude 03 [Freestyle] 1:09
12 Break the Glass 2:21
13 Story 5 3:04
14 Baby Don’t Sleep 3:07
15 A Better Place 4:25
Producer: William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes
√ Daveed Diggs
√ William Hutson
√ Jonathan Snipes
√ Alvin Chea Voices
√ clipping. Art Direction, Composer, Design, Engineer
√ Reuben Cohen Mastering
√ Daveed Diggs Group Member
√ William Hutson Group Member
√ Steve Kaplan Engineer, Mixing
√ Kevin Lee Theremin
√ Paul Outlaw Voices
√ Cyrus Rex Synthesizer
√ Jay Shaw Cover Illustration
√ Jonathan Snipes Group Member
√ John W. Snyder Piano, Vocal Arrangement
√ Graham Stephenson Trumpet
* Cassette format is available from Sub Pop’s Mega Mart store.*
√ Clipping formed in Los Angeles in 2009. Initially conceived as a remix project, Jonathan Snipes and William Hutson began pairing noise and power~electronics inspired tracks with (stolen) vocals by commercial rap artists. Jonathan and William did this mostly to amuse each other and the duo earned very few fans. However, the band began in earnest in early 2010, when rapper and friend Daveed Diggs joined the group. Clipping was their first project as a trio, building on both their long friendship and their many shared obsessions: rap, experimental music, and genre fiction, among others.
√ Clipping released Midcity on their Bandcamp page in 2013 and signed with Sub Pop three months later. The band described their debut as “party music for the club you wish you hadn’t gone to, the car you don’t remember getting in, and the streets you don’t feel safe on.” In 2014, they released their Sub Pop debut, CLPPNG, omitting “I” in the title and lyrics to vacate rap of its traditional center, revealing instead a collage of recurrent rap themes. 2016’s Wriggle EP, released after Daveed’s Tony award for his role as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the acclaimed Broadway musical Hamilton, included “Shooter,” which used gunshot sounds as the beat for an imagistic narrative of three different violent encounters.
√ Since the release of CLPPNG, things have changed for the band — William finished his Ph.D. in Theater and Performance Studies with a dissertation on experimental music, Jonathan composed scores for the films Starry Eyes, The Nightmare, Excess Flesh, and Contracted: Phase II, and Daveed hit Broadway. Their activities outside Clipping have always influenced their work in the band, but never as much as in the creation of Splendor & Misery.
√ Splendor & Misery is an Afrofuturist, dystopian concept album that follows the sole survivor of a slave uprising on an interstellar cargo ship, and the onboard computer that falls in love with him. Thinking he is alone and lost in space, the character discovers music in the ship’s shuddering hull and chirping instrument panels. William and Jonathan’s tracks draw an imaginary sonic map of the ship’s decks, hallways, and quarters, while Daveed’s lyrics ride the rhythms produced by its engines and machinery. In a reversal of H.P. Lovecraft’s concept of cosmic insignificance, the character finds relief in learning that humanity is of no consequence to the vast, uncaring universe. It turns out, pulling the rug out from under anthropocentrism is only horrifying to those who thought they were the center of everything to begin with. Ultimately, the character decides to pilot his ship into the unknown — and possibly into oblivion — instead of continuing on to worlds whose systems of governance and economy have violently oppressed him.
AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson; Score: ****½
√ Los Angeles~based noise~rap trio clipping. have come a remarkably long way since Jonathan Snipes (formerly of irony~killing duo Captain Ahab) and William Hutson (aka noise~drone artist Rale) established it as a remix project in 2009. Since the addition of MC Daveed Diggs (also of True Neutral Crew, along with Signor Benedick the Moor and Deathbomb Arc founder Brian Kinsman), the group self–released 2013’s well~received mixtape Midcity before signing with Sub Pop for their full~length debut, 2014’s CLPPNG. Studio wizard Snipes has since written soundtracks for numerous films, Hutson completed a Ph.D. in theater and performance studies, and Diggs achieved fame as an original cast member of the hit musical Hamilton. While CLPPNG (so titled because its lyrics lacked the most common word in hip–hop, “I”) subverted mainstream hip~hop conventions and was equally influenced by Three 6 Mafia and academic electro~acoustic composition, Splendor & Misery is exponentially more ambitious. The album is essentially an opera about the only survivor of a slave revolt, who is trapped on a spaceship traveling throughout the universe. The story can be likened to an outer space relative of Drexciya’s underwater mythology, and it draws equally from 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as the brilliant Afrofuturist science fiction author Octavia E. Butler, even going so far as to reference characters from her novels in the songs’ lyrics (“Air ‘Em Out” mentions the Oankali alien race from the Xenogenesis trilogy, while “Baby Don’t Sleep” namechecks the mutants known as Clayarks from the Patternist series). While CLPPNG and subsequent outtakes EP Wriggle were more explicitly club~influenced, the sound design on Splendor & Misery is far more experimental and less rhythmic; at times it sounds like Diggs’ complex, hyper~literate raps are being accompanied by industrial drone artists like: zoviet*france: or Lustmord. The beats echo the background noises of the spaceship, replicating clanking and whirring noises rather than resembling anything danceable. Only on a few moments do Snipes and Hutson interject Whitehouse~like power electronics and harsh noise. As dystopian as the album seems, there’s an undeniable hopefulness present. A handful of tracks feature either gospel~inspired vocals (“True Believer” even quotes the 19th century slave song “I Know When I’m Going Home”) or splintered church organ tones. Ultimately, the protagonist ends up celebrating an escape from society and finding freedom in his isolation. Devastating yet optimistic, Splendor & Misery is a stunning leap forward for clipping., and one of the most impressive albums of the year.
|clipping. — Splendor & Misery (September 9, 2016)|