cliffordandcalix - Lost Foundling

Richard Wink 01/02/2010

Rating: 1.5/5

Experimental. Whenever that word is used to describe a musical composition I tend to find that my balls begin to shrivel and then my jaw tightens. I find myself feeling nauseous, with a sudden urge to flee. Panic sets in.

Harking back to the olden days I imagine the feeling of horror that gripped erstwhile music journos as they first spun Metal Machine Music or Throbbing Gristle's Second Annual Report. Not that this release is similar to either of those extremely trying albums, more that the experimental is not strictly to everybody's tastes. cliffordandcalix are not sonically groundbreaking, or particular provocative however because they don't flow with the tide they come under that vague category - experimental.

Lost Foundling is a collection of tracks recorded between 1999 and 2004 by Seefeel's Mark Clifford and Mira Calix, who came together as friends to informally make music. You know, for fun, with no expectations. What we have is a bewildering mixture of electronic moods, that are paired with Mira Calix aka Chantal Passamonte's unique, softly sung vocals.

It's quite hard to draw out any standout tracks, or point to any noticeable moments since Lost Foundling is so fragmented. It almost stands as an obscure exhibit of modern art, where the listener thinks to himself, how do interpret this? What am I missing here? The claustrophobia created by sterile loops and dainty beats diminishes on repeated listens, meaning there is little appeal. That's the problem with minimalist compositions; there is nothing else inside the thin shell.

Because both artists have operated in the past under the Warp banner, I expected a bit more. The tracks are bitty, there is nothing much to get your teeth into. Sparse might be a better word to use, but I ask myself - are these really the tracks that the duo are most proud of from five years of labour?