Sydney-based electronic composer / producer Wade Clarke first emerged under his Aeriae alias back in 2007 with his impressive independently released debut album ‘Hold R1’, and seven years on (after the tease that was last year’s ‘Nurse 2 Alyssa Type’ EP), ‘Victris’ finally offers up his long awaited second album on Clan Analogue. As with preceding Aeriae outings the predominant influences here continue to be chiptunes and the sorts of cold electronic scores favoured by the likes of John Carpenter and Wendy Carlos, filtered through the complex time signatures and glacial melodic arrangements of post-IDM electronics. On the ten tracks collected here though Clarke has certainly taken the detail and scope of his productions to a new level, with the increasing complexity of his arrangements revealing his background in classical piano far more than his previous work.
Perhaps more than anything else, it’s the similarly ambitious and intricate likes of Autechre and Clark that immediately rear up as obvious comparison points here. ‘Revered Daughter’ kicks proceedings off with one of this album’s most dizzyingly intricate moments as chattering broken rhythms lock into place against spiralling synth arpeggios that add a vaguely neoclassical feel to the moody ambient pads and bass murmurs that roll beneath. Elsewhere, ‘Heiress’ sees things veering out into treacherous downbeat electro as vaguely soul / funk infused synths drift against a swaggering backdrop of MPC kicks and elastic bass bends, before ‘Kathle’en’ offers a nightmarish wander through dark carnival organ keys and harsh snapping beats that calls to mind Severed Heads with its playfully twisted darkwave aesthetic. An excellent second album from a local producer who deserves to be better known.