Clytem Scanning #3 - Armada Review

Facebook /  /

I've been as patient as I can remember (musically) with my purchasing of Clytem Scanning's debut LP 'Armada', I really wanted a vinyl copy of the album which was delayed in manufacturer (since April!), so I've been waiting, having to cope with streaming the album from Marianne's bandcamp page until... yesterday when we got the great news that the vinyl is now ready to order (I shall be ordering my copy over the weekend) - you can order it here.

I've said how much I love "Massue" before (here - check out "Stabilise" too!). I do, it' propulsive industrial beat is intense, addictive, brilliant. Marianne's vocal pierces through and then there are the crunching, dirty, sludge-like guitar riffs. It's one of the best electro tracks I've heard this year. If it was on the Austra album every hipster in London would be going crazy for it, it's not, it's on the release of this Parisian lady instead, no big deal, let's make them go crazy for her too.

Clytem Scanning follows a wave of independent female artists blending visual and musical art forms with stylish and compelling results, yes the obvious Knife / Planningtorock / Fever Ray comparisons can be made, though like another of my favourite new artists from the left-field realm, Gazelle Twin, Clytem Scanning is definitely her own woman, this album is her vision.

'Armada' is no one-trick pony, "Palace of the Others", "Dance with Nereids" and "The Body Solderer" continue with the similar vein of dark, brooding electronica that makes "Massue" so good. Mechanical pulses, rhythmatic loops and random (as I called them previously) 'Terminator style' glitches and noise, it creates an intimidating atmosphere, the result is menacing, hypnotic and brilliant. Deafening too when you play it as loud as it should be, in some dimly light underground club if by chance you happen to own one (thought not!).

"In The Line of Moebius", "Taiga" are more dance-oriented tracks and see Marianne enter a more Bjork-esque eccentricity, whereas "Eau Triste" is a haunting melancholic ballad, a total change from what comes before it, allowing her beautiful voice to really shine through.

There are more tricks up her sleeve. Closing track "Gyo" is mesmerising, if damn right cold and foreboding, a demented organ echoes throughout (there is even room for a saxophone solo) whilst Marianne's vocal chills the air closing the album with the sombre feel of a funeral procession for the dead. It's a bold ending after nine previous tracks of dark, yes, but synth driven beats, one I think works amazingly and which highlights the creative freedom that Marianne gave herself whilst creating 'Armada'.

I love it. I need a London show, please come soon - I'll promote it to the hilt! 9 / 10

This album is stunning, don't take my work for it, order 'Armada' now via: Digital, CD, Vinyl.

Samples below:
Clytem Scanning - The Body Solderer
Clytem Scanning - Gyo
Massue by Clytem Scanning

This bedroom made video is how I discovered Clytem Scanning, watch and allow your jaw to drop:

Clytem Scanning 'Massue' from Miss Lois Iron on Vimeo.