It’s always hard to pin down artists such as Rob Clouth, perhaps the best description for what he does is “connecting the dots between glitchy IDM and artful techno, living somewhere between the beautiful melodies of Jon Hopkins and the high-intensity beats of Autechre.” Rob Clouth effectively combines his work in IDM with pieces of experimental software and visual constructs through remarkable A/V live shows. Clouth began his musical career performing under his moniker Vaetxh as well as few other projects, but his desire to integrate his distinct acts into a single project led to his Leisure System releases under his real name, emphasising dancefloor elements with his own experimental style.
The Barcelona-based producer released his debut album Cloud Complex in 2012 on the esteemed Cologne-based label Traum Schallplatten. Since then, the artist has garnered the attention of labels such as Leisure System, King Deluxe, and Detroit Underground, which have all released his music in appreciation of the creative and innovative style he brings. His debut EP Clockwork Atom came out in 2014 and was nominated as one of the best releases of the year by Bleep, and in the following year releasing the Deep Field EP. This record highlights Clouth’s ability on sound design and skillfulness in devising memorable melodies. His latest EP Transition is released this year on Max Cooper’s MESH label and shortly followed by a remix version of it including remixes of Max Cooper, Ben Lukas Boysen and more.
For our first Favourites feature, Clouth talks us through some of his favourite records, spanning from IDM, glitchy and nu-jazz to more funky and delightful vibes.
SOPHIE - Faceshopping
Rob Clouth: I bloody love this track. It’s so unusual, gritty and nasty. Super metallic sound design. I love the “professor?” sample, such a weird but coherent vibe. Sophie has been smashing it recently. I can’t wait for her album this year.
Badun - Fyrtårn
RC: A friend recently introduced me to this. Instant fav. A great mix of nu-jazz vibes with IDM/glitch aesthetics. Really natural, flowing progressions.
Dysnomia - Dawn of Midi
RC: I saw these guys at Sonar Festival 2016. It was the best performance of the festival. So hypnotic. They are exceptionally talented, like human metronomes. The way they manage to stay in time when the polyrhythms strip back to nearly nothing amazes me. Link to the whole album but you should listen to the whole thing anyway—it’s a seamless mix.
cTrix - Reach for the Stars
RC: I met this guy on the recent tour of Australia. He does everything on a bloody Amiga! It’s got that George and Jonathon retro charm.
Motion Graphics - Forecast
RC: This track is bonkers. The melody seems to pass through like a hundred different instruments in this continuous morphing texture. I love it.
GoGo Penguin - To Drown in You
RC: The part from 3m20s gives me the shivers. I love how it switches between triplets and straight in alternate bars, and how it builds. The pianist starts smashing the keys. Mmm Mmm.
Paul Bowles - Baptism of Solitude
RC: Spoken word set to ominous ambient. Paul Bowles was an interesting character. He lived in Tangier most of life, and wrote these strange and dark poems. Baptism of Solitude was recorded when he was 84.
Submerse - Truth
RC: Such a delightfully dreamy, lazy vibe. Plus those four hats that are played at the end of each 16 bar loop are just so goddamn tasteful. It’s the little things.
NtrlTaste - Unfaithful
RC: I love those funky vibes, and the arp that comes in around two mins. Discovered this track my mining the likes on Eero Johannes’ SoundCloud page. There are some cheeky gems in there. Eero: Make some more music please.
Rochelle Jordan - How U Want It (feat. Machinedrum)
RC: I love to stick this track on super loud and bop around the living room in my undies like a madman. Especially the bit at the end (3 mins), I just wish it lasted longer!