If Brightness Outshine Heavens So Prepared was an enthralling yet disconcerting verge into dense, dark dronescapes. clade‘s newest offering channels the detached soporific intrigue of Harold Budd. In this set of untitled pieces, the artist surrounds the quavers of the upright piano with intriguingly lo-fi atmospheres.
Clade has a knack for totality in abandoning convention. Notes flutter while chords pierce the surface of the listener’s eardrums. The artist peppers dissonance with space and allows these two qualities to commingle. Such experimentalism is adventurous, a reflection of the artist’s trip to Hanoi and the desire to create an aural document on his final evening there.
Highlight “Untitled 7” evaporates austere quietude with a drifty feel that belies an obscured motive of pretense. Sharp minor keys adjust themselves over the course of the track, combining the impression of an inner child with a wave of unnerving dread. In contrast, the complete album provides the calm sense of wading through a soft river bed. According to clade, “these recordings were never intended for release in this form but as they have mellowed on the platter they seem to have grown more beautiful and portentous. Thus after some deliberation we decided to offer them to you here”. This proved to be a worthy decision; vietnamese piano conveys mystery through implication, and its far-off sonics suggest that an ephemeral beauty has been captured, if not fully comprehended. (Mick Buckingham)