Claro Intelecto, Metanarrative

Lee Smith

By Lee Smith

on 03.18.11 in Reviews
Fusing classic Chicago house with sharply-tuned production prowess

Mark Stewart, aka Claro Intelecto, was an early player in the Modern Love collective, having already made a name for himself on other small labels with his dogmatic, cleanly-rendered amalgam of electro beats and abstract IDM production techniques. But in 2006, both he and the label seemed to step into a new realm of productivity, with his Warehouse Sessions series of singles heralding a more uncompromising, track-heavy vision of the techno dancefloor. The releases instantly found favor with techno's notoriously fickle bloggers and cult DJs, many of whom had started to tire of the click-clack European minimal sound that had taken over clubs across the globe. But a more personal and less functional articulation of Stewart's talents came with his Metanarrative LP, which fused the untreated melancholy of classic Chicago house heroes like Larry Heard with sharply-tuned production prowess, taking in fleeting aspects of dub, electro and even muted jazz, all sculpted around an endlessly pulsing 4/4 kick. Created, somewhat amazingly, on the much-derided and supposedly limited Reason software, it cemented Claro's highly influential role in the Modern Love family, and the label's manifest ambitions beyond the constraints of straight-up techno dancefloors.