Rob Clouth – Transition [Mesh]
Rob Clouth presents Transition, a four track EP due 23rd February on Max Cooper’s MESH label.
To coincide with the release he has generated an online algorithmic summary of his entire musical output since 2003, in the spirit of embarking on a new phase as an artist.‘Every little experiment, every finished song. It’s part generative music piece, part data visualization.The audio was generated with an algorithm that I wrote to scan through my music collection in date-order, taking little slices of audio from each track and stitching it all together to form a continuous mix. It compresses weeks worth of music down to minutes.’ The audio-visual experiment spans a range of music to present a condensed exposition of his growth over the past fifteen years.
Driven by the desire to avoid stagnation, Rob has decided it is time to explore new production tools, with this EP and its accompanying content representing the symbolic end to his current methodology.
Eerie crystalline percussion reverberates around a hypnotic form in ‘Silica’, whilst ‘Like A Second Sun’ pairs rising piano scales with angular drums. ‘Shedding Layers’ marches to glitchy percussion and swollen bass, whilst closing track ‘Transition’ places abstract harmonic sequences and distorted voices in cavernous acoustics.
The idea of transitions also extends to the artwork:‘The artwork was inspired by the growth rings inside tree trunks. I love how scientists can use growth rings to travel back in time and learn about the atmospheric conditions that year.Trees don’t just encode their own history inside, but also the history of their surroundings. I wondered if by analysing my entire musical output I could not just see how my music has changed over time, but also my environment. Just like growth rings, the most central rings are the earliest. Each ring represents a month.Thicker rings occur every year. Each direction out from the center represents a different analysed property of the tracks that I made that month, such as frequency content, or tempo. If the rings in that direction are further apart it means that property is increasing. Closer together and it’s decreasing. Dashed lines are months that I didn’t make any music. 2016 was a bad year…’
Max Cooper on working with Rob:
‘There’s so many new doors opening at the moment in terms of what can be done creatively with new technology and software-based techniques, and Rob has been at the forefront of what you can do musically in this area for some time. I’ve been a massive fan of his work since the first time I heard it, and straight away realised he was doing something special. One of the reasons I started the Mesh label project was because I had been waiting for Rob to agree to do some releases with me – I knew he would be central to what I wanted from a label, not just because of his music, but also his wider approach and ideas – music which is part of bigger creative projects using new technologies and new forms of collaboration – the idea behind the Mesh project.’
02 Like A Second Sun
03 Shedding Layers