Liam Murphy

June 1, 2022

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

Nuanced noise is worked into fun tracks that excite with an impulsive brevity on this release

The glitched noise that pushes through at the very start of the self-titled clust.r is one of clear obsolescence; it does not serve any purpose, and spews out in fits and starts. There is no shortage of dissonant noise in electronic music, with experimental genres veering off into tunelessness and some styles that use droning feedback as their primary instrument. But on the opener recreating dream, the listener finds the artist setting out the mantra that will define the majority of the release. As no sooner than the listener has consigned themselves to a bumpy experience, clust.r veers sharply into a place of buoyant melodious fun. A step sequencer pushes loud sound out in the form of fun-filled chords as an emotive toy-sounding synth chases round in circles. Though the artist has not completely disregarded the blaring noise, their intention is now to provide an extremist poppy sound, bursting to the point of cacophony.

Onward through the album clust.r continues to wield this same step sequencer, feeding loud noise into it and producing busy chords and sounds that are then penned into a range of styles. self-identity begins with a fit of kick drums spraying mid-range frequency noise out in all directions, as a soulful melody somehow finds its way through. your house is that sort of mainstream triumphant 4-to-the-floor affair you would expect from an Inspector Norse or Caribou, with the glassy sporadic noise giving the track a unique edge. satin plays out almost sounding like a feelgood anthem from a chill/lounge radio station, little curling guitar samples and trumpets reaching out of the swirling juddering sound.

As mentioned in the release’s liner notes, clust.r hugs tight to the inspiration of tirestires, an artist or group hailing from Toronto most notable for album shadowdog. It is from this project that clust.r draws much of its brazen maximalism. But to restrict this collection to the label of mere mimicry is to do it a disservice.

Uncompromising in its style and fearless in its mixing of noise and melody, the mysterious clust.r is captivating throughout. Its sound heavily-inspired by glitch pop, this album finds its voice in carefully-crafted melodies timed and positioned delicately in order to be glimpsed through shards of electronic chaos.