Visions of Bodies Being Burned by clipping. album review by James Olson for Northern Transmissions

Sub Pop Records

8

clipping.

Visions of Bodies Being Burned

Horror feels like the perfect media genre for LA experimental rap trio clipping. to pair their music with. The group’s penchant for disarming song structures, abrasive instrumentation, and visceral lyrics are weaponized once again into a new anthology of auditory nightmares on Vision of Bodies Being Burned.

A direct sequel to 2019’s There Existed an Addiction to Blood, Visions… does what every good sequel should, build upon the strengths of its predecessor and take the established ideas and themes in unexpected and thrilling directions.

Horror feels like the perfect media genre for LA experimental rap trio clipping. to pair their music with. The group’s penchant for disarming song structures, abrasive instrumentation, and visceral lyrics are weaponized once again into a new anthology of auditory nightmares on Vision of Bodies Being Burned.

A direct sequel to 2019’s There Existed an Addiction to Blood, Visions… does what every good sequel should, build upon the strengths of its predecessor and take the established ideas and themes in unexpected and thrilling directions.

Visions… is in many respects a more unsettling listen than There Existed… due to its expanded collection of disquieting textures and samples along with its choice incorporation of a diverse cast of featured artists.

A short and eerie intro featuring ominous thuds, creaking groans, and piercing static gives way to “Say The Name” which simultaneously references Geto Boys’ horrorcore classic “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” with its screwed down refrain “Candlesticks in the dark/Visions of bodies being burned” and lyrical references to ‘90s horror villain Candyman.

While clipping. directly reference specific horror films and familiar tropes, they skillfully recontextualize them to subvert expectations and comment on a number of modern social woes. Besides name dropping the leading lady in Wes Craven’s Scream in “96 Neve Campbell”, rapper Daveed Diggs reframes the film’s “final girl” as a force to be reckoned with for the would be killer thanks to a blistering feature by hip hop duo Cam & China.

Elsewhere, Diggs and noise rap crew Ho99o9 explore urban squalor and gang violence as communal auto cannibalism over a blasted out beat on “Looking Like Meat” while the angular guitar work of Jeff Parker (Tortoise) and experimental percussionist Ted Brynes create a listening experience akin to being trapped in a serial killer’s shack on “Eaten
Alive.”

Even when Visions… displays glimpses of melodic approachability, the darkness lurking beneath the surface always rears its head. The grim tale of one gangster’s paranoia on “Check The Lock” features glittering synths and a memorable bass groove that is counteracted by frigid percussion and synths. Late album gem “Enlacing” includes the most melodic chorus on the LP over an instrumental that sounds like it is slowly melting into a digital acid bath.

Visions… is truly a Pandora’s Box of a record overflowing with chilling beats, surgically precise performances, and anxious atmosphere.