Track by Track: ;john | Clump | Sever | Drops | Good Worker | Play | In Due Order | Idle Talk | Rascal | Kill
12 days before the impressive Iamamiwhoami take the stage and make their “IRL-debut” for Sweden’s Way Out West music festival, they descended upon us a log in to their YouTube account and upload to Amazon & iTunes’ MP3 download sections to deliver their most electro-esque track to date entitled “Clump”.
First thing is first, remember during the 2020k review of “; John” it was said that there’s a possibility of a male vocalist going in and out of certain sections of the track? Well, we’re here to tell you that THERE IS YET ANOTHER MYSTERIOUS, DEEP, MALE SOUNDING VOCAL TRACK IN “CLUMP” AND IT’S MORE PROMINENT THAN THE ONE IN “; JOHN“. It’s still confusing thrown into the mix, unknown if the vocal track is just front-woman Jonna Lee’s vocals being pitched down and manipulated, or if a male counterpart is harmonizing with her. It’s laying too low in the mix through the first verse to really get a clear listen and while it’s heard crystal clear through the second verse, it’s so warped that it’s impossible to know if it’s Jonna or someone else involved in the project. Frustrating, but extremely intriguing. After all, it wouldn’t be Iamamiwhoami without a little mystery, correct?
Beyond the lower vocal, “Clump” once again gives us outstanding vocal production, with the majority of the track surrounding us with short vocal reverb times, allowing the dance-oriented production to surround us and take hold. During the breakdown, vocals are extremely stereo oriented, with at least five layers of Jonna’s voice being fed to various sections of the stereo image, all drenched in reverb to create a dream-like state that the b-section is meant to create.
Musically, “Clump” is a well done Electronica piece and continues their departure of experimental song structure from the BOUNTY project and remains true to building a more traditional format, consisting of “verse/chorus/b-section/verse/chorus/b-section” – It’s an interesting move in that it closely relates to “; John” by maintaining a conservative flow while programming instruments and samples in an unorthodox manner, but is different in that it contains slight references to the trance genre, with many of the synths repeating melodic phrases several times before slowly morphing into the next section of the track.
Interestingly enough, if you listen closely and loudly enough, there are more synth layers than meets the eye. The main one, a more low end oriented synth with a slower attack time and a bump of EQ in the mid-range creates one of the main melodic lines of the song, with a higher synth peeking in and out of the track at several moments during the beginning of the second verse, with a more prominent pad leading it’s way through the chorus before dropping off at the sound of a bass-drop to give way for the b-section. What makes the synthesizers even more interesting is that it doesn’t sound like too many different synths are playing at the same time, but the notes played on the instrument and the settings placed within the parameters of it create the illusion of a more dense environment. Smart work!
Since the track is mainly trace driven, “Clump” maintains a signature Iamamiwhoami style by utilizing sound effects, ambiance and interesting keyboard stutters that sounds like something The Doors would include on a 21st century downtempo remix of “Touch Me”. Without the subtle synth pad floating through the background of the verses, the airy exhale-industrial sound effects, and reverb on the sampled hi-hat, it’d be a very sparse and open track and that’s the last thing you think of when you hear the word clump, so while the mix may sound cluttered and busy during some portions of it’s 4-minute and 27-second run, it all seems part of the bigger picture.
A four-to-the-floor, very compressed, dance oriented kick is also used as a way to keep focus, drive the song as a whole and appeal to the Electronic vibe they’ve created for themselves. The kick also sounds strikingly familiar to the one used in “; John”, so it’s very probable that it was used to keep a cohesive musical theme together during these new era of tracks.
Finally, in the realm of the rhythmic section of “Clump,” there is a higher frequency hit that follows every single snare drum hit, which gives it a more layered and industrial sense of direction, and a 16th note, extremely wet sounding tap that surrounds the majority of the track, that helps aid bass and kick.
“Clump” is yet another fantastic step forward in the Iamamiwhoami project and it’s interesting to see the video, musical, and lyrical double meanings that are cleverly thought out and presented. We here at 2020k still claim this project to be the most forward-thinking and artistic project in music at the moment and are watching out for what happes next. Bring out Way Out West!
Also, be sure to check out ForsakenOrder’s video analysis on “Clump”. This blogger does one for every Iam video and is always fantastically thorough in his findings and is the 2020k-audio counterpart to the video theories on Iamamiwhoami.
And what do you think of the track? C’mon! I know the clumpers love to chat it up when it comes to everything surrounding this project (remember, I’m RJ Eclectica in the comments section on Youtube!) Drop a comment on 2020k and let us know your thoughts! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter!
Track rating: 4.5/5
Purchase “Clump” [iTunes]
Purchase “Clump” [Amazon]
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