Monday, 4 January 2021

Clipping "There Existed An Addiction To Blood" (2019)

I'm struggling, yet to form a strong bond but on this outing I very much hear a conceptual angle playing out in the form of deconstruction. The picking apart of ideas, tropes and normalites become apparent on a handful of tracks that make up this seventy minute meaty slug of cold artistry. Experimental Hip Hop trio Clipping have been on my radar for a while but I've found myself unable to connect with the critical praise Ive seen heaped upon them. I have however enjoyed the challenge and appreciate the immense talent of rapper Daveed Diggs and their Avant-Garde production style, which raised eyebrows on their debut album CLPPNG, featuring a rigid yet rapid rap riffling off over the grating sound of an alarm clock.

There Existed An Addiction To Blood is the groups third, including a bunch of features which mostly emphasize what seems most obvious to me. The challenging nature of hearing highly involved lyrics over ambience and noise makes much of Diggs raps a harrowing and dark narrative to follow but his guests seem to line up with a strong through line. Rattling off typical Gangster Rap and club hooks over menacing abrasive noise and unnerving screams, Diggs flips the perceived glorification on its head. Many themes common to the gang and club music get deconstructed as both verses and juxtaposed hooks get sung in contrast to the norm. This is where the instrumentals shine, the comfort and tunefulness is voided and replaced by uncomfortable, grating hashes of Industrial and Noise. Its tone molding that paints a picture of the uncomfortable reality behind the topics and narratives shared.

This artistic stride only occurs in fractures for me, between it detours of interlude ambience and crushing noise distortion simply drone on. There is also a fair bit of convention where kick and snare snap into place to form more digestible songs, ironically in this convention they tend to loose a spark. It tends to take place when a guest steps on the beat to give the record some relief between the challenging darkness. Ultimately, the moments of genius play out not quite to my taste and I again appreciate what Clipping do but find myself struggling to create a clear picture of the record with all the chaos going on. No doubt though I will continue to follow this act and see where they go with their unique and crafty music.

Rating: 5/10