You never quite know what will turn up in your inbox when you commission a FADER Mix, and that's half the fun. Sometimes it's carefully curated glimpse into an artist's record collection and, occasionally, it's more like a rummage through their brain. UK electronic music artist Clark—who released his debut album on Warp Records in 2001 and is currently gearing up for his seventh, self-titled long-player on the legendary label this November 3rd—is firmly of the latter camp, having created a number of tracks especially for this mix. It kicks off with a windswept, kinda haunting Kanye and Jay Z acapella, rolls through snippets of a David Attenborough documentary about spiders, and includes an untitled modular jam by the man himself. Plus, of course, there's plenty of gold from the likes of Lukid, Surgeon, DJ Godfather, and the late LFO. Listen below, and scroll down to find out what keeps Clark motivated after all these years, and what he thinks of the guy who came up with the genre descriptor IDM.
Where are you right now? Describe your surroundings. I'm on a plane to New York finishing this mix for you lot, sitting next to my manager and Bobbie Caris my soundman, who I now call Uber-Bobbie.
How did you approach your FADER Mix, and what's on it? All of my favorite things, lots of unreleased bits and bobs of mine, a remix I did of some of my favorite acapellas, mixed with my own music. I wrote quite a lot of fresh material for this. It took ages but I tend to bite off more than I can chew—it's pared down from about 200 mp3 purchases over the last month—if you don't bite off more than you can chew then you never really feel satisfied. I have a huge trash folder now full of the chewed bits that didn't quite work. Damn. But this mix is all of the bits that did. Oh, there is also and a naturalist section in the middle about spiders, it's sort of erotic music for spiders.
You're about to release your seventh album on Warp—how have your creative motivations evolved over the years? In some ways yes, some ways no. I played "Indigo Optimus" recently at a support slot for Massive Attack and I thought, "Yep, this is exactly how I would do it now." Quite a weird feeling. I forgot about all the layers and spoken word bits in it, they're barely audible but I kind of put them in there to trick myself. It's good to have hooks, hidden layers that reveal themselves after many listens, trusty nooks and crannies that keep you coming back to the tunes. I want people to feel like they can climb inside my records and inhabit them, or feel like the music is some sort of shield against the world. I probably just listen to my tracks on headphones too much—my favorite thing is walking with tunes in headphones.
What makes techno such a robust form to work within? The limited palette. The fact that a tune like "Chicago" by DJ Hyperactive is one kick, a hihat and two acid notes repeated for four minutes but still has this grip, funk and soul.
What do you think of the term IDM? My friend knows the guy that invented the term, it came up on a forum ages ago when the internet was very young, and the Warp website was being constructed. I know where he lives. I sometimes spy on him. He's got that sort of committed, androgynous look, quite dogged but when when he unties his ponytail, he's pretty sexy.
What's the last book you read that had a big impact on you? The Possibility Of An Island by Michel Houellebecq. It's deffo hit and miss, people find him quite shocking but even when he misses he's still pretty great in my opinion. He seems to be a much maligned and misunderstood man, but I was crying with laughter on the flight over here for this U.S tour. The description of Karl Lagerfield as a sort of winking, sweating, libidinous caveman is hilarious.
What's your favorite dish to cook and how do you make it? Risotto. Is risotto like a fairly non-impressive thing to be able to cook though? It's hard to mess up that badly. It's like playing the harp. It's pretty hard to play a harp badly.
Clark - Untitled No Church In The Wild Acapella
Clark - Untitled Clipse Wamp Wamp Acapella
Arca - Family Violence
Clark - Untitled Die Antwoord Dis Iz Why I'm Hot Acapella
Fiedel - Detour
Antony Shakir - Frenchie
Jaga Jazzist - Bananfluer Overalt (Clark Remix)
Andrea - Draine
Herva - Until
Lakker - Mountain Divide
Spaces - Lever
Dexter - Intruder
Der Zyklus - Eigenface
DJ David Attenborough - Red Spider documentary
Randomer - Real Talk
LFO - Tied Up sweep mix
Lukid - Born In Bosnia
Surgeon - Fixed Action Pattern (Dub Mix)
Sunno - Cursed Realm of Winter Demons
Clark - Untitled Modular Jam
DJ Godfather - Medley
Clark - Untitled Trina Acapella
Lag - Sama Donna
Clark - Untitled Beat/Where Is Jessica Hyde Cristobal Tapia De Veer