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Sus Dog
Throttle Records
Catalogue Number
Release Date
May 26, 2023

Instant WAV / FLAC download with all Vinyl / CD / Bundle purchases.


“You’re never gonna know for sure” where Clark will go next. Even in the space of one album he can switch from rip roaring rhythms for the club to curious cinematic, orchestral manoeuvres. It's all too fitting, then, that his tenth studio album is not only a milestone culmination of his work, but yet another first added to his varied repertoire as well as garnering Bleep's Album of The Year 2023. Much like how the live drums on 2006’s Body Riddle pushed his music into dazzling new directions, Sus Dog finds Clark guided by executive producer Thom Yorke to lead the tracks with his very own vocals.

Rebirth seems to be on Clark’s mind as, for him, Sus Dog feels like his debut. It’s not the first time he’s reemerged as a totally new artist: from drum laden visceral electronica through heavyweight apocalyptic techno to hushed and lush classical excursions, his sounds have known no bounds throughout his two decades strong career. His debut album Clarence Park initiated a fruitful relationship with Warp Records in 2001, Body Riddle saw him drop his forename Chris in favour of adding live drums bursting through his electronica palette, and he founded his very own Throttle Records in 2018, a fitting home for the artists latest reinvention.

Clark tentatively introduced his own vocals on Totems Flare in 2009, peppering tracks with half spoken half sung refrains that were more textural accompaniments to eruptive acid techno than pop earworms. Yet over a decade later, Sus Dog sees him step unmistakably into the realm of song, assembling all of his talents and metamorphoses into something like “if The Beach Boys took MDMA and made a rave record”. And who better to provide insight into a record like that than the renowned Thom Yorke? As Clark leaps up to his higher register, he joins Yorke’s falsetto, embarking on a mentorship between two artists who have unfailingly championed rich creative expression throughout their careers.

Sus Dog explores a newly intimate and emotive angle for Clark as he muses on life and its complexities. Like all the varied concoctions in his discography, he approaches his lyrics from an atypical angle, making them all the more stimulating to unpack. Completely unconcerned with the satisfaction-seeking structure of singer/songwriter pop, Clark travels through a myriad of emotions, unrelated phrases and oxymorons that are intriguingly juxtaposed. Clever witticisms and proverbial truths are vessels for cathartic confessions, naked as his neon-lit face on the cover.

Having previously described the human voice as “the most perfect synth”, Clark places singing as one of humanity’s oldest technologies, and on Sus Dog he seeks to manipulate every dial, every switch, and every filter of his vocal cords. While the music isn't without its signature throttle (the percussive pyrotechnics of 'Medicine' are proof of that), swooping falsettos and harmonies elevate many songs to an even lighter dimension. The title track exemplifies this balance as opalescent piano notes traipse and tiptoe in contrast with tangibly punching drums with a lumbering gait. Whoops, hollers, and growls underline the soft trembles of Clark’s voice, his utterance of “Animal words lie in the birdsong” highlighting hardcore instinctual release combined with featherweight fragile introspection. Anika’s simple yet moving vocals bring the track to its zenith; a similarly explorative artist having released on great labels such as Invada to Stones Throw to Sacred Bones Records, she charges fearlessly into the track’s climactic, euphoric ruckus.

That vehicular forward motion drives through much of the album, starting with 'Alyosha'. Clark’s distant, candid voice swoops in, then skitters into stormy drums ushering in a new mode. A “loose love song written by a recovering utopian” slash meditation on trusting the process, it embeds doubt, trepidation, anticipation, and eagerness into its converging refrain and surging blood rushes. The motorised electronica of 'Town Crank' turns further vicious with a jackhammering beat, topped by lyrical non sequiturs that make perfect sense together in this happy-go-lucky rave. Wooden percussion stretches like bubblegum on the sunny 'Clutch Pearlers', brimming and bursts with specks of light as bells, chimes, glockenspiels, and xylophones adventure in Clark’s carefree wandering. A whole world of contrasting sonics, and that’s just in the first four tracks.

From ‘Over Empty Streets’ onwards, Clark taps into his composer brain. The ticking hands of piano hammers instil a sense of wonder, leading into the sugary, light-speed heart flutters of ‘Wedding’, picturesque yet detuned like old home tapes and photographs. All that is thrown into the kindling on ‘Forest’, lurking with listing sweeps of strings. ‘Dolgoch Tape’ is warm with frazzled synths pirouetting through the melodious gossamer of vocal layers Clark weaves, contrasted once again when Clark reaches into his -esque lower register on the towering obelisk of ‘Bully’, stuttering into dreamy clouds anchored by heaving rhythmic slabs. Thom Yorke offers bass and a husky verse on ‘Medicine’ as Clark wisps around him, before dispersing into the revolving piano refrain of the album’s tender closer.

Every replay of Sus Dog reveals more and more about its corporeal clockwork, not only for the audience but for the artist too. The exercises of his new instrument have led to an intensely prolific period as Clark has gathered a second full length album companion album of radically alternate versions with Cave Dog, destroying and reconstructing the original tracks while honing in on their most alluring qualities. And as Clark continues to delve into lyrical structure with his newly explored singing, he holds a mirror up to the world outside: opening up, changing immensely, and brilliantly refuelled. Sus Dog is an ode to new beginnings, marking a robust and ever creative peak in Clark’s career.

Mastered by Matt Colton at Metropolis
Design by Jonathan Zawada
Photography by David Ellis

Digital Tracklist

  1. 1 Alyosha 4:38 Buy
  2. 2 Town Crank 3:39 Buy
  3. 3 Sus Dog 4:36 Buy
  4. 4 Clutch Pearlers 4:47 Buy

    Clutch Pearlers

  5. 5 Over Empty Streets 1:49 Buy

    Over Empty Streets

  6. 6 Wedding 3:11 Buy
  7. 7 Forest 2:51 Buy
  8. 8 Dolgoch Tape 2:39 Buy
  9. 9 Bully 4:43 Buy
  10. 10 Dismissive 4:17 Buy
  11. 11 Medicine 5:11 Buy
  12. 12 Ladder 2:58 Buy


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Throttle Records

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Electronic and Electronica

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Limited Editions

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