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Omit (Clinton Williams) - Tracer CD (album) cover


Omit (Clinton Williams)


Progressive Electronic

4.42 | 7 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I'm delighted to see Clinton Williams' OMIT moniker here. Dark, minimalist electronic music can come from the strangest of places, and Williams is from New Zealand, not a place usually associated with doom-laden drones.

This is generally regarded as his best effort. Though dated 2005, the music was actually first released in 2001 on CD-R, so is not necessarily a follow-up to 'Rejector', his previous album. Williams has been releasing limited editions of his music since the late 1980s, and is very much a virtuoso (as far as anyone can be in this field) with an ear for balance and space in his compositions. 'Tracer' is the soundtrack to the loss of your senses: what you might hear if you were locked in a windowless room for a week. Grindings and groanings, wooden clicks and taps, random shrill clicks and farts as though the wireless in the room two streets over is slightly off the station. The occasional spoken sample appears, slowed and distorted, heralding the breakdown of technology or communication, or running through a list of local banks, serving to further alienate the listener from humanity. And below it all the relentless, never-ending pulse that manages never to be a beat, all washed over by smothering synth drones.

I bet that doesn't sound very appealing to most proggers! But it has a magic of its own, this stuff, hammering at you from the 20-minute opener 'Sequester' that could have been any length from 5 to 30 minutes. Drop anywhere into the song: you'll have no idea where you are. As I said, sensory deprivation. Most of the tracks on this 2 CD set are relatively short, never overstaying their welcome, but Williams does take you for a few extended journeys. These are my preferred moments from this set. Interestingly, the track titles hint at their contents, with words like flex, decayer, din-cycle, pro-hiss and so on.

The nearest popular referent I can offer is late AUTECHRE, though slowed down and without a hint of melody. Those familiar with the work of KLAUSE SCHULTZE will recognise his influence over Williams' music. The random glitch-clicks are there, sounding like someone rummaging through a tool box for a spanner ('Clicker'). There is never a compromise to popular musical expectation: like modern art, this music is personal and introspective. I can thoroughly recommend this for lovers of experimental electronica, early German avant-garde and adventurous ambient. I can't honestly argue that this is essential for every progger, but the braver among you might appreciate it.

russellk | 4/5 |


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