Holidays? Who needs 'em when you have the new album by Clap! Clap!

Clap! Clap!
(Image credit: Clap! Clap!)

Italian afrocentric electronic producer Cristiano Crisci has been making wild and innovative music that merges traditional African rhythms with bass-heavy electronic music as Clap! Clap! since 2013. 

Just like his first two records, the widely acclaimed Tayi Bebba and A Thousand Skies – the albums that attracted Paul Simon to invite Crisci to work with him on his 2016 album Stranger To Stranger – his third studio album arrives on much-loved Bristol imprint, Black Acre

Liquid Portraits is awash in that same inimitable style, grounded in a high-energy concoction of unpredictable rhythms, far-flung field records, traditional instruments, exotic vocals and heavy, relentless bass and drums, but also comes with refreshed direction in terms of mixing. 

Crisci, as ever, pulls a vast array of influences, sounds, styles and genres into everything he makes and here is able to bring them together in a cohesive current that surges forward in powerful, unpredictable waves. That genre-bending, melting pot aesthetic encapsulates the transcontinental attitude that marks Clap! Clap!’s work. 

On Liquid Portraits, the Italian wanders further into poppy, more conventional territory than we have ever seen from before, but true to form, these moments are always followed by the most intense and psychedelic parts of the record. It’s that fierce sense of experimentalism and innovation that makes Clap! Clap! so gripping and exciting. A masterclass in musical tapestry and collage, Liquid Portraits creates a stunningly intricate picture that is full of life, colour, energy and personality. 

Another standout record of sheer joy, this is Clap! Clap! at his distinctive best. 

First published in our sister magazine Future Music.