Despite what you may have heard about Clarence Clarity he is not a “demon of the apocalypse” nor is he from Fiji (he’s from London) as previously rumored. He does however claim that God channels through him and aids with his recording process. None of this really matters though as the enigma of Clarence Clarity’s music shines through. At twenty tracks long his debut LP No Now is full of elctro fuzz funky R&B jams. Imagine if Ariel Pink wrote electronic R&B tunes and they were produced by Oneohtrix Point Never. He’s “grinding, intense, frenetic two-and-a-bit minutes of chopped, pitched vocals and a bewildering array of synths and percussions … just how we likes it,” the Guardian mentioned.
The opening track “Become Death” is an aural vocal harmony over organ keys that sounds like Clarity’s way of welcoming the listener into his afterlife. Which makes sense for a guy who’s quoted the Notorious BIG saying “I’m ready to die.” It’s followed immediately by “Will to Believe”. You’re in Clarence Clarity’s world now and it’s not going to end anytime soon. Things pick up with “Alive in the Septic Tank” an almost club banger type track, but is probably too weird to be played on the dance-floor. Clarity follows this pattern through out his LP bringing in grooving dancy rhythms and then twisting it ever so slightly to make you think what am I listening to? It’s a pleasurable listening experience for those who are fans of weirdo pop songs that Ariel Pink has come to pioneer.
There’s an R&B element in Clarity’s music though that helps make his music more approachable. While listening to “The Cute” for a second you forget its Clarence Clarity and sounds like someone else perhaps Jai Paul. It’s one of the more standout track on the LP and shows Clarity has a natural talent to incorporate hooks behind his unearthly sonic palette.
Coming in at 20 tracks long Clarence Clarity is pretty ambitious on his debut LP, but that shouldn’t be too surprising coming from a guy who aims to be “he greatest artist of all-time and bolster relations between nations and facilitating contact with extraterrestrial life.” No Now offers a lot to digest upon first listen and rewards repeat listens. Finding new sonic nuances within Clarity’s music and coming to appreciate just how weird he is.
No Now is out March 3rd via Bella Union.
Check out his upcoming tour dates with Jungle
17 Pyramid Centre, Portsmouth
18 O2 Academy, Bristol
20 O2 Academy, Oxford
22 O2 Academy, Liverpool
25 The Liquid Room, Edinburgh
26 Albert Hall, Manchester
27 The Leadmill, Sheffield
28 Rock City, Nottingham
02 Dome Corn Exchange, Brighton
03 Roundhouse, London
05 The Assembly, Leamington Spa
06 UEA, Norwich