Clouds – Heavy The Eclipse (Electric Deluxe)


Since they first emerged under their Clouds alias back in 2010 with their debut ‘Liquid’ EP on Blood Music, Scottish duo Calum Macleod and Liam Robertson have developed a reputation for fusing dark post-industrial atmospheres with the sorts of euphoria and rhythmic velocity usually associated with classic rave and hardcore.

As with much of their preceding releases, this latest third album ‘Heavy The Eclipse’ sees the duo crafting tracks that often feel retro and futuristic at the same time – the fusion of aesthetics suggesting fractured transmissions from the future bleeding back into the past and emerging as distorted artefacts in the process. It’s something brought into even richer context by the detailed backstory behind this album, which centres around a dystopian future version of Glasgow known as Neurealm, an irredeemable hellhole battled over by lawless gangs such as the Dark Leviathan Krew.

Opening track ‘Neurealm < >’ calls to mind some flickering and distorted radio transmission desperately battling through the ether as laser zaps, sped-up vocal samples and sparse clattering rhythms become overtaken by clouds of static and digital distortion that eventually smother the entire track into nothingness. From there, ‘Clubber’s Guide To Wreaking Havok’ sees a whir of rattling engine-like tones and digitally mutilated vocals coalescing into a dark EBM-fuelled stomp through thudding 4/4 kickdrums and twisted rave arpeggios that positively writhes with paranoid atmosphere.

‘Dark Leviathan Krew’ drops the pace down a few notches, taking things off on a dubstep-tinged wander that sees stripped-down, skeletal rhythms rolling against deep bass pressure and clattering percussion fills, the pirate radio MC callouts that trail through suggesting ghostly echoes of the past bleeding into the present, with an almost hallucinatory effect. Elsewhere, ‘Skulcoast’ unleashes the sort of hyperkinetic breakcore jungle that you’d associate with the likes of Sickboy or Amen Andrews.

‘Eclipser’ meanwhile ushers in one of this album’s most intriguing moments, grafting a relentlessly thumping kickdrum onto all manner of dubbed-out vocal samples and dark buzzing synths, the skittering off-beats that flicker above seeming to gradually tear the entire track apart at its core, leaving contorted textures strewn all over the place like twisted metal. When removed from its sci-fi backstory, more than anything else ‘Heavy The Eclipse’ feels like a passionate homage to underground UK sounds in all of their varied forms, whether they be rave, dubstep, hardcore techno or breakcore.


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