Opening up with the gentle yet solidly throbbing First Floor, the story begins in what could easily be the early hours of the Berghain. Or perhaps it's an industrial landscape of the not so distant future. Either way, the cinematic tone of the story begins here as the Italian duo move forward on their journey... Next stop is Places, a space filled with shuffled breakbeats and emotional synths, peppered with vocals that hint at a nostalgia for another time and place. Somewhere we've been before? Somewhere we might be going? Like a literary foreshadowing of things to come. And in an instant, the pace quickens. As Running Searching begins so do we shoot directly into the heart of things. Here Chasing Kurt joins the crew, his vocals coming in like a soulful rallying cry bolstered by deep bass and arepeggiated synths that urge us all ever ahead. Onward. Upward. A truly standout moment. Now energized, Subterfuge seems to move the journey downwards and upwards simultaneously. As we step into a dreamy underground place where the beat moves us forward but the space between the synths keeps us looking all around in wonder. Voices surround us, subtly hinting at a story we might now slowly begin to piece together... But before we can get our footing and our heads around what is happening the dreamscape seems to shift and The Quiet Hour begins. With help from talented Italian producer, Avatism, the journey takes a dramatic and animated turn into slow driving techno. This is a textured soundscape energized by drums that might sound inspired from the influences of the past but are clearly crafted with sounds pulled from the future. From here we arrive at Prisms, an interlude that at first seems relaxed until you realize that with just a combination of arpeggiated synths, percussive elements and noises plucked from the ether you are smack in the middle of a piece of music that somehow wraps it's emotion around a moving image that moves you with it. Doing it all without the standard straightforward push of the 4/4 kick and yet always propelling us ahead. Moving up another level to the Second Floor, the four to the floor kick returns and we've stepped back into the club without ever leaving the story behind. The emotion remains but the beat reemerges with a sythesized tonal percussion that sets the stage for a modern tale of tribal warfare. The urban jungle is its landscape and the dancefloor is the domain where it reigns over all. The perfect counterpoint comes next as Clarian joins the team with his fervent announcement, This World Is Not Designed For Us. Beautiful vocals, melodies and synths are accompanied by disjointed beats that still somehow stay in lockstop with its narrative. A distress call from the youth of today looking to find their place in an ever confusing world. Oblique, which follows, answers this call like a shot fired into the night. A forceful piece of dancefloor material that works well both in a room full of a thousand or a room of only one. It showcases solid beats that rest firmly in your body while the airy high end of plucky synths and melody that arrive like the blowing of Gabriel's trumpet across the airwaves of the heavens to land directly in the listener's lap, creating a mood that is oblique perhaps but certainly anything but inaccessible. After the blunt energy of its predecessor, Hidden Spectator seems at first to flip the mood but then takes us slowly back up with a soundscape that builds from an ambience to a dull roar, keeping the emotional level high as we take just a slight pause from the beats before heading back into the fray... Then we're back as False Matters launches us even higher into the techno stratosphere. The hardest hitting track of the trip, we're at full force here with a nod to Detroit and its Underground Resistance but never losing the unique sonic footprint that Clockwork have created throughout the voyage. A solid groove that build and builds and builds and builds and never lets us down.
How to follow such raw energy? With beauty it seems, as Lost Keys brings label mates Tale of Us onboard to begin to wrap up the chronicle. The beats stay strong but here become more shuffled and emotive as they are accompanied by keys that are not so much lost as pleading. Brimming with feeling as this pairing of friends and artistic peers shine through with an emotional maturity that seems only appropriate as one reaches the end of this kind of journey. A real achievement. And then, like all good stories, the end must come. But if it's not a disappointment that's a testament to the forlorn beauty of One Way Ticket. The best kind of send off, its haunting guitar strikes a deep emotional chord that keeps ringing in our minds long after the last of the melody has faded away. The story may be over but it still remains living somewhere deep inside of us. Just as we remain eager to hear it retold once again...
(added: 2013-04-12 14:06:39 )