As its title suggests, this latest compilation from Clan Analogue ‘Intone: Voice Abstractions’ centres around the theme of electronic manipulation and treatment of the human voice. It’s a theme that certainly provides a lot of scope for an artist to work with, and as you’d expect the contributions from 17 electronic artists affiliated with the Clan Analogue collective presented here range widely in terms of style and mood, veering from jarring confrontation through to more melodic and accessible territory. Curiously, curators Actual Russian Brides opt to open this collection with what’s easily its most ferocious and aggressive moment, Kusum Normoyle’s ‘Octopus’ kicking things off with a juddering rush of chaotic distorted yells and screams and motorbike-like revving distortion that sits somewhere between Mike Patton and early Boredoms.
Following that confrontational opening, Carrier’s ‘You Can’t Keep’ sees what sounds like an academic interview discussing ever increasing consumption being cut up and looped against clattering hiphop rhythms, before KoshowKO’s ‘Now You’re Talking Baby’ takes things down into deep swaggering dub as pitchshifted vocal elements flit between the clattering offbeats and jangling guitar samples. Elsewhere, Doctrinaire’s ‘Le Petit Prince’ calls to mind shades of Matthew Herbert as manipulated vocals get cut up and reassembled into a rattling, bumpy house groove, while Alex J Wise’s ‘Deserted Landscapes’ lives up to its title, sending things off into dark humming ambience punctuated with sinister pitched down breaths and flickering programmed rhythms. Significantly, this compilation also features the last track from the late Robert ‘Bo’ Boehm’s Winduptoys duo, with ‘Broken Language’ offering up a lulling dubby swansong that threads xylophone tones and tweaked vocal mutters in against dry-sounding snares and a wobbling bassline. All up, ‘Intone’ manages to cover an extremely wide range of sonic territory within its thematic remit, with consistently interesting results.