Adrian Smith: Cubase, Sampler
Derek E. Smith: Cubase, DM5
Produced @ The Department Of Polyrythmic Experimentation – 1997
Sleeveart: Click Click, Hugh Byrne & Joe Barbato
Armed with a big enough budget to kit out a very small studio Click Click re-unite to produce an album of instrumental mayhem. Considering the studio consisted of a Mac computer running Cubase, an Akai S2000 sampler and a DM5 drum machine, Shadowblack is a remarkable achievement. Run this album through a 24 track studio with all the trimmings and Shadowblack would knock allcomers into oblivion. The album is relentless and totally uncompromising, and it does what a lot of albums fail to do…it saves the best till last.
Listen to Did You Get What I Want at high volume and see if you’re not holding your breath at the end.
Of course the biggest complaint concerning this album was the lack of vocals from Adrian Smith, but look again at what they had to work with. Click Click were never a rich band and studio time costs a lot of money. Couple this with the small amount of time allowed to produce the album (let alone learn how to use the equipment) and it’s easy to see why they opted for sound over song.
Dark, Dangerous and Excellent.
A very interesting release indeed. Click Click are (finally!) back on the scene with a new full length, Shadowblack. Their current sound is nowhere near what they use to produce, but rather it’s a dub / drum’n’bass / trip-hop extravaganza. Now signed to Off Beat, Click Click once again spread their musical wings and fly away from their eighties roots and land smack dab in the middle of the nineties.
More Samples Than a Clinic starts things off with tumultuous beats that wraps themselves around a trip-hop spine. Deep, suspenseful orchestral movements pulse through this track, making it sounds as if it were intended to be the soundtrack for a modern day Hitchcock thriller.
At a certain point the beats begin to deconstruct and a hollow guitar sound rolls along in the background. As the track progresses further, experimental noises flow in and out, followed by another beat change which takes the percussion down a notch and into the dub territory. The track rebuilds itself and fades away, leaving only a muffled bass kick and a high pitched, repeating note. It takes awhile to build, but once it does ‘Parabellum‘ shows all the signs of being the obvious choice for a single. Smothered vocals weave between the pummeling percussion and dirty rhythms.
Other sounds, such as atmospheric sequences, ethereal voices, and whistling synth lines, drift through this piece, giving it robust feeling. The drum’n’bass elements within the title track are juxtaposed against the whirling, distant vocals and ghostly sequences. Loss of Breath is a slower piece that rotates around a stretched out trip-hop beat and creepy samples. A mixture of military styled beats and trip-hop give Memento Mori its force. Also thrown in are serene vocals and an occasional, cascading sequence. This is a rather minimalistic piece, but it goes through enough changes to keep my interest.
Hephaestos is another drum’n’bass drive track, but this time around the sequences are more atmospheric and spacey. As in most of the tracks, there are several break-downs in which the beat changes-up and after which new sounds are introduced. Meandering in the experimental genre, Hopi is a slow piece with a looped (violin?), gritty samples, and a steady beat. For the most part Stencilhead remains in the experimental genre, but Click Click do manage to intertwine a rugged beat that instantly reminded me of the old World Destruction song by Time Zone.
Sequences that sound like whale calls are layered upon the beat, giving this piece a mystical quality. final piece, ‘Do You Get What I Want‘, expands on the experimental sound and carries it into the more noise orientated region. There is still a rough beat and a pulsating rhythm, but all of the other musical elements seem to be straight out of electronic noise.
I am quite impressed with Click Click’s new sound. Shadowblack is one of the rare cases in which I approve of a bands massive change in musical direction. This should appeal to fans of all sorts, from noisy electro to experimental to dub to tech-electro to drum’n’bass to tortured trip-hop and beyond.
by courtesy of the Industrial Bible
Shadowblack zurück zu C
Off Beat / SPV Index
Seit den langsamen Dancefloor-Mantras von “Party Hate” (1987) und der eher kommerziell auf EBM ausgerichteten “Rorschach Testing” (1989) ist viel Zeit vergangen. Click Click waren immer im weitesten Sinne den Sheffield-Industrial-Bands zuzuordnen (siehe auch Cabaret Voltaire, Hula, Chakk, Clock DVA), waren aber eigentlich recht spät dran. Umso besser, daß man sich auf dieser Platte auf die alten Tugenden besonnen hat.
Harte Breakbeats, industriell düstere Sounds und Ambiencen, Flüstergesänge, gepaart mit Electro- und EBM-Rhythmen ergeben eine überzeugend bedrohliche Zukunftsvision. Das alles läßt die Drum’n’Bass-Hardstepper ziemlich vordergründig und platt aussehen. Eine Platte, die auf ihre eigene Weise far-out ist und von der ersten bis zur letzten Minute überzeugt.
Rising with a vengeance from a period of inactivity, Click Click shows their skill once more in creating densely layered aural phenonmena with their newest full-length contribution to the EBM scene: “Shadowblack.” With this CD, I have found myself unable to press the eject button at least until I’ve heard the entire album through four to five times. Using the newest technology available by splurging profits from their previous releases, Adrian and Derek Smith venture forth from their dormant period of remixes and compilation tracks to offer their fans a chance at bliss. As complex and intricate the breakbeats and samples are, there is a simplicity present which can lull one into a semi-trance state through the use of headphones and a couple doses of LSD.
By far the most original and thought-provoking material of 1997, “Shadowblack” delivers the sensual and abstract sides of electronic music not included in other, similar-to-the-genre bands (i.e. Black Lung, Sonar, Imminant Starvation, etc.). Buy this CD at all costs. Sell parts of your anatomy for cash if you must, but get this release.
With the budding of the “electronics Body Music” in the middle of the 80’s many volume – naturally usually on marketing reasons – were added to this category, although they had to do with typical, often limited EBM sound hardly the something.
So the British CLICK CLICK was e.g. also one the volume of the in the meantime classical 88er Samplers “This Is electronics Body Music“, which actually justified this category.
But just like e.g. its Belgian colleagues neon Judgement CLICK CLICK was volume, which agecauses alone something other ways went. Apart from its scene hits like “I rise up I Melt” or “Yakutska” were the albums coined/shaped from economically more produced, often break-dark electronics, CLICK CLICK into the 80ern one the first volume, which experimented with digital sounds on a very minimalistic basis, without doing thereby without compact structures and Songs.
Above all its culpably underestimated 89er album “Bent of massifs” (SPV 084-0331) must be classified retrospectively as small masterpiece – also today this album still sounds so pressureful, prepared, idea-rich, so far faraway all plates and above all so brilliantly produced that it would have its authorization also as publication into the 90ern. But CLICK CLICK were much too self-willed and too unmodisch, in order to be established as firm size or scene volume – they remained so-called “cult“, which nothing different one means that they were closed by few true music lovers into their heart and only very few plates sold. This situation led also to the Split 1990.
It is to be owed to the “music lovers” in the A&R floor of the Offbeat label that the volume reformed itself and after its Split on 3 October their impressing Reunionkonzert gave accurately 7 years to 97 with the Krefelder “Tyrannight” Festival. If this appearance was a successful mixture from well-known, old material and new TRACK, then the new album “Shadowblack” might irritate old CLICK CLICK fan at least when first hearing strongly.
Just like with many different, also my first reaction to “Shadowblack” was rejecting, but true masterpieces is characterised by the fact that one must gain it and that it according to intensive study to full size to only unfold. Not differently it holds back with “Shadowblack“, whose first unspektakulaere, instrumentale Breakbeat rhythms appear very homogeneous and too fashionable, besides with the sound of the old CLICK CLICK hardly more something to do to have itself seems….
But the entrance to the new work facilitates itself, if one leads oneself the fantastic “Bent Massive” album again to mind: CLICK CLICK with very much vertrackten, repetitiven rhythms and Gegenrhythmen, the Breakbeat creations of the 90’s worked already here not at all times so dissimilarly, tension elbows already here very subtly and laminar were developed, however the singing and the Songformat, although very economically related, reminded still of conventional continuous production…!
The new album does perfectly without singing or Songs – and that might actually be that “irritating” at “Shadowblack“: On full, fat Breakbeat Rhythmpatterns and groovenden carpets became in each of the 9 TRACKS dark, heavy, very basslastige sounds as well as very fine, rudimentary melodies or hymnische choir – or Orchestersamples eingewoben, without all fashionable Schnickschnack one did at the same time, so that “Shadowblack” to a vordergruendig very homogeneous, nothing the despite hypnotischen, until in the detail prepared work became.
Strictly speaking the work is an ultramodern “Industrial” album, in which senses that on Noise and sufficiently admitted Atonalexperimente here one did without, but the machine atmosphere nevertheless produced with very much style and artistic warmth. Perfect the album for night travels by industrial areas bright-shone…!
Result: Still CLICK CLICK remains admirable exception volume, which with “Shadowblack” not only a grandioses comeback, but in addition one of the albums most impressing so far submitted this yearly!
Even the plakative album title “Shadowblack” is perfectly selected: It a jet black, but nevertheless brilliant sparkling sound jewel!