Hailing from Sweden, Clockvice is only 18 years old and Nomen is his first EP, but he’s already expressing himself as if he has the wisdom of an 80-year-old. I can’t imagine the kind of experiences he might’ve been through to be able to make music this emotive, and at times you might want to tell him to lighten up, step away from the laptop, and go outside for a bike ride. But you gotta be inspired by how he’s learned to funnel those experiences into such advanced production skills.
It Sounds Like We’re Breaking is the centerpiece of the EP. It heaves and sways with the weight of the world on its shoulders. Beds of pads lull you into a pensive state of mind while tightly shaped sounds with high attacks cut in and out like knives to the heart. And those chopped up female voices–my god. They send this otherwise earthy crawl soaring into the clouds. The spaces where there’s supposed to be snares are instead filled with claps layered with machinery and splat noises. They’re a little different every couple of measures and those little details are what take this track from your standard instrumental ballad to something that can’t be pigeonholed.
The other two tracks are no clunkers either. Listening to Places We’d Lose Ourselves brings back memories of being a curious kid again and having to figure out what this world is all about. The bells are optimistic and innocent while the kicks have a little wonk to them–this infant is just learning how to walk. Gradually, young Billy gets the groove right and starts to figure out how to work with the alien qualities of Earth. He gets into a solid trip hop groove and feels the clicks and pops transform from textures for a soundscape to something polyrhythmic and natural. How does Clockvice recall this experience with such clarity? But he’s also smart enough to acknowledge what one loses after childhood. There’s a tragic quality to The Ghost He Left Behind. Sorrowful strings and strange moans swirl about. It’s heavy with thoughts of death, hardships of love, and whatever other existential crap you’re forced deal with when wondering about the bigger picture.
In the right headspace, Nomen has the power to keep your body hairs stood up for days at a time. Clockvice may be too raw to achieve any sort of mainstream acknowledgment, but he’s bound to earn a cult following of sound geeks. You can snag this release at Additech.