'Retiro Park' - The Clientele
From That Night A Forest Grew EP (Acuarela)
There are some groups whose continued genius you grow to rely on making an appearance every now and then to soothe your troubled soul. A record appears to no great fanfare. You smile to yourself, as though you feel yourself to be part of a glorious family of enlightened souls. You settle into the sound as you might into a well-worn armchair; surround yourself with a splendid, spidery web of familiarity. It feels good.
I well remember Kevin often writing that there was a new Autechre record and that it sounded like the other Autechre records, and that that was a great thing. I’ve long felt the same about The Clientele. Formula as a means of driving progress. The interest is in the subtle difference, not in obvious leaps of direction change. The Clientele have always implicitly understood this. Have always demonstrated their grasp of the elemental quality of Pop in the artefacts they have made. Have always shown an uncanny knack for creating something startling from the space where the feather-light texture of gossamer guitars meets electric urgency. The Clientele have always managed to make a spectral, baroque inflected psychedelia without sounding fey or willfully obtuse. It’s a difficult trick to pull off.
Their That Night A Forest Grew EP for Acuarela was as classic an example of all of this as you would expect. Four more Clientele recordings to add to the box of treasures; a box already packed so full of sparkling gems, each glittering with their own particular facets, reflecting light through each other and casting always new kaleidoscopic patterns on the sky. Familiar yet new. New, yet familiar.
God save the Clientele, indeed.