“One of the best techno full-lengths of the year”
– Resident Advisor
“9/10 Album of the month”
Just a few years into their career, CLOUDS have already been playlisted and supported by some of the most respected heavyweights in electronic music. At 21 and 22, these Scottish prodigies have already developed a sound that has made fans out of Richie Hawtin, The Chemical Brothers, Marcel Dettmann, Michael Mayer, Sven Vath, Chris Liebing, Boys Noize and Martin Gore – a cross-section that reflects the range, quality and inventiveness of their music. All this attention through a rapid-fire succession of four singles on Tiga’s Turbo Recordings. But these were mere club bombs: now the kids have grown up.
TURBO presents their debut album – GHOST SYSTEMS RAVE – an immersive 14-track journey into the heart of Techno’s Future. This record should put CLOUDS in the ranks of the elite UK techno vanguard. Comparisons to the work of Blawan, Zomby, Actress are justifiable and inevitable. What is critical – and hopefully obvious to the careful listener – is that none of this is derivative. That these connections will be made simply speaks to the level of artistry on display, as opposed to any specific tricks, sounds or motifs. Wherever they try their hand, they find an original way forward. For instance, when they take on HARDCORE on the awesome FUTURE 1 and FUTURE 2, it is their own private resurrection of the spirit nexus heyday of early 90s UK jungle and techno, a historic time that also literally birthed both Liam and Calum. This is the sound of rave’s undertow, dredging up toxic grit and grime, as well as beautiful shards and glimmers.
Almost nothing on this record is obvious. The melodies never resolve. The vocals are consistently unintelligible. The drums are at once dirty, punchy, and repetitive, but never too abrasive to put you off. The bass growls. Textures breathe, brush, grate and glisten. Everything sounds as though it exists in an alien world of impossible dimensions, complete with its own physics, logic and secrets.
This record is more than fully formed. It’s perfect. Made in a few weeks of total isolation in a barn in Scotland by two kids with a laptop and total conviction. Welcome to the FUTURE. It’s theirs.