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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… Anne Clark August 25, 2018

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Here’s an artist who is fascinating to me. Anne Clark is a poet, songwriter and electronic musician. In some ways her approach reminds me of John Cooper Clarke but with a greater emphasis on her as a musician (which I imagine Cooper Clarke would not really regard himself as). And perhaps that places her closer to Blue Aeroplanes – or they closer to her given the chronology.

I remember tracks from her first few albums being played on the radio in the early 1980s – and no particular surprise there. Her dark, almost goth adjacent, lyrics and music sat very comfortably in post-punk and new wave. Political, tinged with a dystopian outlook, later she became more, though far from exclusively, personal.

Her voice too, particularly at that point, a perfect post-punk instrument, emotive but somehow also detached. Her phrasing subtly integrating to the synth sounds that characterised a lot of her output.

And then throw in the music, tracks like Sleeper in Metropolis (along with a raft others later remixed and sampled by various groups) where one can hear the icy percussion of Factory records, and in the sequenced sounds of tracks like Our Darkness a foreshadowing not simply 80s electronica but also much that would come later in the 1990s and after. Indeed I suspect it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that a raft of house, techno, EBM and future pop groups owe quite some debt to her (in one interview she has an anecdote about being in the US on tour in the late 90s IIRC and being approached by Detroit techno fans in the US and being bowled over by their familiarity with her work from the early 80s on). But tracks like Echoes Remain Forever see her collaborating with Vini Reilly of Durutti Column fame and thereby forging a link with another, more organic, aspect of post-punk.

And collaborations have been a recurrent feature of her career. Initially with keyboardist David Harrow who wrote all the music, also with Reilly (on Changing Places Reilly contributes to a good half of the album which Harrow produced), later John Foxx, then with luminaries drawn from Depeche Mode, Eyeless in Gaza and many many others.

She has continued to produce work regularly, below is a sampling of tracks from across her career to date, including more recent tracks representing the interesting duality between the poles of her creative approach, electronica and something close to acoustic.

Sleeper in Metropolis

Poem for A Nuclear Romance

All Night Party

Echoes Remain Forever

Our Darkness

Heaven

Full Moon (from the 2000s)

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