For Clara Hill, there was never a question about why she might end up making an album with King Britt. It was always a question of when. The Berlin based singer, songwriter and producer has shifted styles fluidly throughout her life, and in Philadelphia producer / DJ King Britt she found a likeminded soul with a similarly restless spirit.
Indeed, Hill’s journey to Pendulous Moon’s uniquely chimerical aesthetic began as a child with experiments on a piano at her aunt’s East German home. Over time, these led to the blissful acoustic soul of the albums she made for Jazzanova’s legendary Sonar Kollektiv label between 2004 and 2007, before she took a left turn with Walk The Distance (Tapete Records, 2013), a beguiling combination of songcraft and abstract sonic experimentation. She found there a common bond with Britt, whose career began in the 1990s, taking in, amongst many genres, hip hop, jazz, funk and soul, but who shares her interest in independent electronic music.
In truth, it’s not the first time they’ve collaborated. In 2006, they worked together on ‘Did I Do Wrong?’, a song for Hill’s second album, All I Can Provide, and they’ve remained in regular contact since, swapping stories of the music, films and art that have moved them. They were finally reunited at the end of 2014 in Berlin, where they worked day and night on the album’s original sketches in Hill’s apartment, before she retired to the countryside outside the German capital to work on the vocal arrangements over the course of seven intense weeks. The final touches were then provided by Britt in his Philadelphia studio, where he also mixed the album.
Clearly their ongoing cultural exchange laid the foundations for an inspired partnership: Pendulous Moon finds the two united by their love for a sound that flutters elusively between the likes of FKA Twigs, Vangelis and Boards Of Canada. An eerie experience from start to end, it flits from the heavenly voices of ‘Spheres’ to the infinite, almost gaseous murmur of ‘Dron3’ via the brittle twitch of ‘Lonely Glow’, the impatient thrust of ‘Asynchronous’, the futuristic neo-soul of ‘D.E.F.’, the dark throb of ‘Moons’ – which, perhaps not surprisingly, recalls The KLF’s cult ‘Space’ – and the desolate emptiness of ‘Nano Suns’. It exists, you might say, in a universe of its own.
Clara Hill & King Britt – Pendulous Moon – Record Release Show
DJs: Digital in Berlin & friends
Saturday, 25.06.2016 | 20:00 CET
Kantine am Berghain | Am Wriezener Bahnhof | 10243 Berlin/Friedrichshain