In 2007 they released an EP on Werk Discs, home to Actress, Lukid, Lone and Zomby, which was generally perceived as a dubstep record. Sure, the bass-weight and radical beat structures of Cloaks’ tracks justified comparisons with Vex’d and other dubstep fringe operators, but it was also clear that noise and industrial influences were a large part of their make-up. These influences really came to the fore in 2009, on the two 12″s and album (Versus Grain) which they released on 3by3, a label dedicated to “confrontational electronic music”.
Now Cloaks are back with a brand new mini-album for 3by3, entitled Desolate Turves. Billed as representing a heavier, more minimal evolution of the Cloaks sound, it’s an impressive if rather intimidating listen: opening track ‘Blackstar’ recalls Raster-Noton artists like Alva Noto, Byetone and Ryoji Ikeda at their most aggressive, while ‘Wired For Singer’ is power electronics in the vein of Whitehouse and Prurient, albeit with a rhythmic flex that betrays Cloaks’ foundational connection to the UK bass underground. The two-part title track puts us in mind of the serrated analogue noise attacks of Carlos Giffoni and Mick Harris, and Coil could be the dubstep track that KTL have yet to make.
Though not exactly for the faint-hearted, Cloaks commitment to their own idiosyncratic muse is to be applauded. Look out for the 12″ when it drops on September 27.
A2. Wired For Singer
A3. Desolate Turves 1st
B1. Desolate Turves 2nd