Clark – “Mirage Trooper” (Singles Going Steady)

Clark's "Mirage Trooper" is enigmatic, eerily subterranean, and mesmerizing from start to finish.

A. Noah Harrison: Over the last decade, Clark has proved himself one of the most dynamic electronic composers, so expectations are always high with this one. Five years in the making, Clark’s new single reflects his newer work, boxier and more sterile than the sounds of 2009’s Totems Flare, among the finest recent electronic albums in my mind. This one-off, produced for Adult Swim, pushes into wonky techno territory. (Clark claims visionary producer Jon Hopkins insisted he notch it down 110 bpm, but he kept it at a sprightly 135.) Although the track doesn’t swell or dive into the deep end as do some of his earlier tracks, it flows effortlessly as techno should. And the slippery synth that emerges at the three-minute mark adds some much appreciated intrigue. The track rounds off with a three minutes of beatless ambience that fades into the ether. Keep up the good work, Mr. Clark. [7/10]

Pryor Stroud: Enigmatic, eerily subterranean, and mesmerizing from start to finish, Clark’s “Mirage Trooper” incorporates whirring machines noises and whooshes of ambience, chunks of binary code and fits of click-clack percussion. The production characteristics aren’t atypical for the UK-based IDM artist; every glitch, electro-blip, and sonic zigzag seems slightly unhinged, as if it’s trying to push the track toward a complete loss of sanity. On top of all these components is a recurring vocal sample, but it’s wordless, distorted, and nearly impossible to pin down; listening, it’s unclear whether this voice is releasing a cry of excitement, fear, or all-consuming, white-knuckled anger. [8/10]

Chad Miller: Pretty solid track. The piece starts off really nicely, featuring an abundance of sounds that come from all directions. The track does lose some steam in the following section though from its overuse of repetition, and it never really gets back on its feet. [6/10]

Chris Ingalls: As part of the Adult Swim Singles series, Clark has created a track that’s infectious but also sharp and dark. There’s a lot of edges here, thanks to some very inventive production. Battle cries mix with angular beats and melodies while synths and samples bleat and moan. It sounds vaguely apocalyptic, but this is an apocalypse you can dance to. [8/10]

SCORE: 7.25