Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Clipping "CLPPNG" (2014)

Now here is a remarkable group that may draw unfair comparisons to Death Grips. Also an Experimental, Industrial Hip Hop trio the link might seem strong at first glance but the reality is Clipping are a rather different beast. Breaking the music down to its two core components, a chemistry exists unlike anything Ive heard before but I can't say it does it for me around the clock. I can however appreciate the artistry and skill on display. The music however, tends to shy from cheap tricks, groove and flash but keeps itself closely guarded by an unforgiving, cold presence.

The instrumentals are something to be adjusted too. Often minimalist and sparse, its atmospheres are birthed through textural snippets and samples that stray away from melody and rhythm. Cold mechanical sounds, sirens, noise and distortion loosely cling percussion that is barely present. Many of the songs reside in a dystopian, life drained state, barely growing or evolving from its initial inception while Daveed Diggs wilds off on the microphone. Get Up is literally two minutes of rapping to alarm clock before anything musically happens. Its conceptual, clever and jarring. I can't help but feel the goal is to paint an un-glorified picture of the subject matter.

Diggs is a phenomenal talent. Precisely enunciated, daringly swift and churning out the words at a dizzying pace his crisp and clear voicing is entrancing. With a lenience towards rhyming, his cadence cruises over multiple bars before looping back round to a rhyme of groove in the delivery of his words. Quite often he musters a dizzying momentum, blasting through very competently articulated story telling. Following his words can be intense to keep up and immerse in the vivid nature of his words. It borders with something akin to spoken word at times but the pacing and glue to the instrumental is firmly Rap, along with the themes of course.

Together they form a bold statement. This album plays through its themes of street and club life with an unforgiving coldness brought to life through its instrumentals. Its remarkable but the lack of relief and fun makes it quite a heavy and burdensome listen. Its more of a remarkable spectacle than something to throw on and jive too. Its only on Body & Blood that a semblance of bounce and groove is exploited. Its also one of the darkest atmospheres the album offers. I've found it hard to enjoy this on an emotional level but I can't flaw its artistry, very unique and focused, especially the story raps!

Favorite Tracks: Body & Blood, Story 2
Rating: 5/10