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anneclark synaesthesia
Artist: Anne Clark
Title: Synaesthesia (Anne Clark Classics Re-worked)
Genre: Experimental / Poetry
Release Date: 28th May 2021
Label: FDA / Anne Clark


Album Review

It’s not been great recently, let’s be honest. And the arts, like every other walk of life, have suffered under the immense strains of this seemingly endless global malaise. It has been said that compared to people dying and struggling and losing their jobs and their loved ones, the arts having a bit of a crisis pales into insignificance. Not so. The arts play their role in everything from keeping us sane, feeding our hopes, allowing us to express our grief and frustration and fear, right down to the more practical level of employing people and documenting this slab of history for all time. And in and amongst this collective coping and adapting, our individual tragedies still must play out, indifferent to the larger concerns.

Anne Clark - poet, musician, sonic explorer and genre-hopping maverick - had to abandon plans for a major anniversary tour, against a backdrop of Covid and then a diagnosis of cancer, and the idea of a re-workings album was born from this reassessment of life based around these two dramatic and life-changing situations. It’s a pause for breath. A way of revisiting the past with the knowledge of the present, and a determination to keep working and creating, even when things seem desperately bleak. [Check also our latest interview]

There can be no better way to start an album, after all this trauma and reflection, than ‘Entire World’, a song co-written with Thomas Ruckoldt and originally released as part of a ‘Stop Brexit’ single, dealing with a whole different kind of trauma. It’s a passionate plea for people to come together, in a time of splintering and insularity, and here it is all the more haunting when seen against the bigger picture. Dazzling.

Equally relevant is ‘Take Control’, born of the climate crisis, and here rendered sparse and urgent, whereas the mix of ‘Wallies’ twists and turns deliriously around the almost nursery-rhyme spoken word verses. And on ‘Orange Suns’ we’re off somewhere distant and beautiful, lost in an aural loop from some forgotten sci-fi classic. And it soon becomes apparent that the variety of styles on offer here show a musical and lyrical chameleon absolutely in a league of her own. Skippy beats on the gorgeous ‘Sometimes’, dreamy, floating abstraction on ‘Waiting’ or the downright bizarre on the choppy, fragmented ‘Hope Road’ - there’s so much happening here, and yet still a perfect cohesion. If things seem to be drifting off into the surreal at times, it just takes a few lines of commanding verse from ANNE CLARKE to steer things back on course and remind you that this is all part of the plan, it is all meant to sound this way.

And just so it doesn’t all get too art-school, there’s a song about sex (‘Virtuality’), and a dip into real nostalgia as the familiarity of ‘Our Darkness’ (now over 35 years old and still sounding fresh) bursts from the archives, all new and polished-up. And the album comes to a memorable close with a pulsing revisit of the 1983 classic ‘Sleeper in Metropolis’, always such a gleefully incongruous club track.

In a world of remixes, re-workings and rebooting, this comes as something of a refreshing change, having not only a tragic, but also triumphant, backstory. There is also, crucially, a history of material worthy of tinkering with and putting out there, in this strange new world we are all tentatively peering out at. It feels absolutely of the now, yet oddly and comfortingly timeless too, sitting left-field and observant, wise but never preachy, fun but never frivolous. An important artist, reminding you to embrace past, present, and future.


Tracklist

01. Entire World (Ballad Remix) - Thomas Ruckoldt
02. Take Control (Solomun Tribute Remix) - Solomun feat Anne Clarke
03. Wallies (Kickin’ Mix) – herb
04. Orange Suns - Melting Rust Opera
05. Heaven - Andreas Bruhn
06. Sometimes - Sea Of Sin
07. Waiting - Yagya O
08. The Hardest Heart (2021 Revisit) - Blank And Jones feat. Anne Clark
09. Hope Road - Deadbeat
10. Virtuality - Johannes Brecht
11. A Community Of The Spirit - Svensyntetics O
12. Our Darkness (Marc Romboy Respect Mix) - Marc Romboy
13. Entire World Dance Remix - Thomas Ruckoldt
14. Sleeper In Metropolis - Robin Hirte


Line-up

Various (see track listing)


Website

https://www.anneclarkofficial.com / https://www.facebook.com/anne.clark.music


Cover Picture

anneclark synaesthesia


Rating

Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10




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