For METANARRATIVE, Claro Intelecto's second full-length outing, he leaves behind the scattered rhythms and IDM touches of his debut for more solid beats and Detroitian harmonies. You can hear it from the very first notes of "Operation": the smooth synths, the steady 4/4. Some of the iciness creeps back with "Harsh Reality," and "Gone to the Dogs" brings in an abstract melody to anchor the kick drum. "Nodrex" tamps down the drums for some dub techno effects, and "Dependant" goes deep and dreamy. "Beautiful Death" takes the album out on a whispery ambient note, with only a few throbs where the beat used to be. An interesting change of direction for Claro Intelecto.
After four volumes of Warehouse Sessions and a few additional twelve inchers on Modern Love, Mark Stewart releases his sophomore LP on the same label. Stewart began his Claro Intelecto project in 2003 on Manchester's IDM label, AI, with a Peace of Mind EP. He quickly followed the release with the acclaimed Neurofibro (named after his genetic disease). Metanarrative is more melodic than the preceding EPs, centered around deep bass groans and minimal grinds building up the postmodernist grand narrative. Stewart infuses the Detroit influenced UK beats with his IDM and electro background, creating an album that spans the sub-genres from dub techno to tech-house. This sound falls somewhere around cold warehouse nights and deep underground lounges, where the walls vibrate with bass, killing all the vermin in the process. In Neurofibro, I found myself attached to a handful of glitchy tracks on the wavelength of Arovane, Nautilis and Tipper. This time, Stewart has left his experimental touch in the past, and in Metanarrative we're only offered the straight up four-to-the-floor beats. The bpm doesn't scour or trot, instead it bathes in its leisurely rhythm. Combine that with a short album playtime (40 min), and you find yourself hitting play again after eight tracks. Recommended if follow Ricardo Villalobos, Alex Smoke and Lawrence.