Princess Stomper

The Age of Clank: Why Genres are Important

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By Princess Stomper

A few weeks ago, Chris Razor wrote about clank – a new genre title he’d coined, and I was grateful, because I’d been trying to think of a word for it for ages. I was getting fed up of saying “experimental electronica”, because that makes it sound like it sounds more like this and it doesn’t. Instead, it sounds like this.

Chris describes clank as “ramping up the colour saturation of keys, guitars and percussion until your eyes are screaming”. It’s like a luminous pink sort of psychedelia. Retro-futuristic. The way music is supposed to sound in the 21st Century.

It feels so good to finally put a name to it. Bands spend their whole careers trying to resist being labelled, which is oddly selfish and self-defeating if you have a consistent sound. It doesn’t restrain you from being able to evolve and try out new ideas, but it does allow fans to play a tagging game of recommendations.

Would you say No Mas Bodas are clank? Chris seemed to think so – especially their song ‘Floating’.

(continues overleaf)

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5 Responses to The Age of Clank: Why Genres are Important

  1. Matt O'Neill September 26, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Pretty great article.

    Clank can’t be a genre, though. It lacks hyphens, prefixes and suffixes. It just doesn’t work. Now, post-clank, clankwave, nu-clank, clankstep, proto-clank, clankcore, clank-rock, indie-clank or any combination of the above (proto-indie-clankwave, post-nu-clankcore) – those are genres.

  2. Libby September 26, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    All of this music is god awful. Throw “clank” in the bin now.

  3. Chris Razor September 26, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Nice article, Princess, and some superb examples. The Nice Nice track you picked is precisely what I had in mind (and I have to thank Lucy Cage for first opening my ears to that one.)

    I would hate to think, though, that “clank” might come to signify a very specific sound, or worse that bands would *try* to make it. (“I’m not getting back in the van until you say we’re clank.”) For me it’s enough to know there’s something exciting and raw and new happening and to have a rough handle on it. The second person to be accurately described as making Matt’s “post-nu-clankcore” will have entirely missed the point, the fun, the exploration, the exhilaration of making music.

  4. Princess Stomper September 27, 2011 at 5:45 am

    @ Matt – well, I could argue that Ohgr’s first album was proto-clank. 😉

    @ Libby – so when I went to Amazon and immediately stocked up on the tunes I’d listed because I just couldn’t live without them, that was the wrong thing to do? Who knew!

    @ Chris – glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I really love that Nice Nice track. Thanks, Lucy! I’m not sure that I agree with the bit about bands not trying to sound a certain way. It depends how it’s done. I mean, in all innocence, it’s plain inspiration. You hear something, think it sounds great, and realise that beat just fits with the lyrics you thought up yesterday and then it all somehow gels. That’s great. On the other hand, I’d hate the idea of some record company telling (since they’re this week’s whipping boy) Gotye that he needs to sound more clank.

  5. Mike September 28, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Yes! More glock-rock!

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