The following is a note from William Hutson of Clipping.
track “Knees On The Ground” might benefit from an explanation. This is
the most unguarded I ever intend to be when writing about Clipping.
had happened was this: our very brief UK/Europe trip got called-off the
day before we were supposed to get on a plane to London. Since we
didn’t have any other plans, we met up in the studio with an idea to
crank out a new track. On our list of songs to finish was one particular
piece aimed directly at the club (or, at least, our twisted idea of
what clubs should play). But none of us were in the mood for it. Each of
us had spent the previous several days following the news of protests
in Ferguson, MO. It was the only thing on our minds. We couldn’t bring
ourselves to think about anything else, so we decided to direct our
fear, our revulsion, our heartbreak into a new track.
was that we’d defined our band — in interviews and to each other — as
decidedly-not-an-activist-project. Diggs’s lyrics have been criticized
for seeming apolitical, at least in comparison to what many listeners
(perhaps rightly) expect to hear from an ‘experimental’ rap group. I
have many times said (perhaps naïvely) that our politics lie in our
structures, in our formal engagement with the rap genre. We love its
conventions, its clichés, and we’re not above them. We see our
participation in rap as something resembling an old punk flyer — an
out-of-context collage of charged images with an fractured,
contradictory, multiple point-of-view. I hope that our more dedicated
listeners hear this and understand that we’re not interested in
spoon-feeding them a position. At the same time, I’ve always assumed
that they pretty much agree with us on most issues anyway. (We have yet
to meet the misogynist, homophobic, white supremacist Clipping fan with
an MBA and an NRA membership).
So what do we do when all we can
think about, all we can feel, is a profound injustice — yet another
young unarmed person of color is murdered by a police officer? How does a
band, which overtly rejects affect and the emotions, address something
that is, for its authors, a deeply felt, deeply affecting topic? Well,
we don’t entirely know. But the fact is: there’s more truth in Diggs’s
lyrics than we generally let on. “Inside Out” describes a drive-by
shooting in Oakland, “Chain” is about three stick-ups. They are
presented with a lot of detail and specificity (perhaps the result of
personal experience). But at the same time, they represent archetypal
scenarios within rap music. One trope we had yet to explore as Clipping
was the anti-police rap — the lineage of Public Enemy, NWA and Paris,
straight through The Coup, and all the way into the ‘stop snitching’
panic of the early 2000s. “Knees On The Ground” is a paradigmatic
white-cop-kills-an-unarmed-black-kid-and-gets-away-with-it tale — a
story that happens all the fucking time in the US. What we have learned —
from our first hand experience in Oakland in 2009, and from the media
coverage of Ferguson in 2014 — is that the second part of this story
involves a police response better suited to a war zone than to an
American city. Cops think they’re playing Call Of Duty when they’re
supposed to be part of a community. If Ferguson were in Iraq, Obama
would have sent in an airstrike already.
This is the least obtuse
Diggs’s lyrics will ever get. We’re embarrassed by the timeliness of
this track. We do not intend to capitalize on what is, undoubtedly, a
terrible tragedy. But journalists make think-pieces and we make songs.
Writers write what they know, and this is what we know right fucking
— William Hutson, Clipping.
CLPPNG just came out yesterday to critical acclaim with ”Album of the Week” honors over at Stereogum. Today, the music site premiered the utterly NSFW music video for the grinding track, ”Body & Blood”. Head on over there to get on that wild ride, directed by Patrick Kennelly.
CLPPNG is available here, or your local independent record retailer.
Today’s a very heavy release day for us here at Sub Pop HQ. We’ve got people hustling around the warehouse shipping and receiving, publicists on the horn (industry speak for phone) with press, and metadataists metadataing. Which is to say, it’s a wild scene around here, but one we’ve been preparing for.
First and foremost, clipping., the most disruptive and abrasive yet remarkably welcoming hip hop we’ve ever heard, are making their debut with the nearly eponymous CLPPNG. It’s a collection of disorienting and challenging hip hop tracks that equate to a pretty perfect debut record. Listen to “Body & Blood” in the embedded player for example. Pick up CLPPNG here, or wherever fine records are sold.
Tragically long-out-of-print on the coveted vinyl formatway, Constantines’ Shine A Light is back in record bins wherever you dig for them. There’s still time to get yourself a copy of the limited, colored-vinyl Loser Edition of the LP from us here. But they’re going to go quickly, so order SOON. Listen to the epic ”Young Lions” from the record here.
Rose Windows are back with their single, ”There Is A Light” b/w “Fix Me Another One”, out today digitally, and out soon on 7”. Pick up the 7” single or a two song digital single here. Listen to the beautiful psych dream that is ”There Is A Light”.
clipping. are back with another track off of their out-of-leftfield, noize hip-hop Sub Pop debut, CLPPNG, out June 10th. The track, “Body and Blood”, is probably the more intense window into what is an at times immensely challenging and equally rewarding record for listeners. Press play to hear what I’m going on about.
Pre-order CLPPNG on CD/LP/DIGI
Sub Pop noise mongers, clipping., just delivered their first music video for this record label for the song “Work Work”, and I have to say, we are APPALLED. It features copious amounts of violence and a plethora of swears, not to mention A TON of innuendo and refer references. FILTHY. If you’re into that sort of trash, then you’ll LOVE CLPPNG, the trio’s debut record, out June 10th on this filthy record label.
Watch the video then pre-order CLPPNG, here.
All customers who pre-order the LP version of CLPPNG
will receive the limited, “Loser Edition” of the album on white vinyl.
In addition, every pre-order placed for both the LP and CD versions of
the album will also receive a bonus 7” with 2 additional songs.
of these items are on a first come, first served basis and once they’re
gone, they’re gone. Order now to secure all of these limited-edition
Sub Pop is very pleased to announce our involvement with this year’s OFF Festival, to be held August 1st-3rd
in Katowice, Poland. Now in its 8th year, the lineup features the
likes of Belle & Sebastian, Neutral Milk Hotel, Deafheaven, Glenn
Branca, Fuck Buttons, Loop, Earth, Dean Wareham, Dirty Beaches, Chelsea
Wolfe, Perfume Genius, Perfect Pussy and more to be announced.
On Friday, August 1st
Sub Pop will curate the Experimental Stage, with a lineup that includes
artists from the labels roster, past and present, our sister label
Hardly Art, and a few Polish bands. Artists performing include: Wolf
Eyes, Rose Windows, clipping., Lyla Foy, Protomartyr, Kaseciarz
(Krakow, PL) and Wild Books (Warszawa, PL).
Please find additional information about each of the performers below.
“Choking Flys” (From No Answer - Lower Floors / Destijl)
Some say Rock N Roll will never reach
the same primitive raw vein hit of Bo Diddley at his more subhuman
lurch, or that no unit could ever scramble the marbles left of what
brain-boiling suburban electronic punk outsiders did in the mid-’70s:
Whatever you think, there is no denying the homemade nuclear war Wolf
Eyes has declared on music. Wolf Eyes was birthed in the shadows of
late-’90s Michigan. However, Wolf Eyes has grown beyond a band into a
collective mutant ensemble, an art abstraction unit: musicians, print
makers, photographers and more, all sharing a primal vision of decoding
the wilderness of the humanoid soul using their deep audio arsenals.
“Work Work” feat. Cocc Pistol Cree (From CLPPNG / Sub Pop)
Before the release of clipping.’s debut, 2013’s Midcity,
the trio of rapper Daveed Diggs and producers Jonathan Snipes and
William Hutson did not expect to find an audience for their abrasive
brand of rap music. But since the formation of clipping. and the release
of their debut album, the field of commercial music enlarged ever so
slightly, making room again for noisier, more adventurous elements in
electronic production. Examples of this have been incremental, mere baby
steps, so far. And despite clipping.’s insistence that they’re really
just making rap— not noise-rap, industrial-rap, or any other mashup
genre— their music might be more sonically challenging than that of the
punkish rap rockers, lo-fi bedroom producers, and street goth
hybridist’s they’ve been lumped with so far. The band will release their
Sub Pop debut, CLPPNG, this June.
“Feather Tongue” (From Mirrors the Sky / Sub Pop)
Lyla Foy (formerly known as WALL) released Mirrors the Sky,
her Sub Pop debut in March. The London singer and producer specializes
in intimate vocals effortlessly intertwined with delicate, emotive
instrumentation. The production is an integral part of her writing
process, capturing not only the intended notes but also the incidental
and accidental sounds that bring the recordings to life and provide
endless intrigue. While the patter of keyboards, guitars and pulsing
bass lines create a beguiling backdrop, it’s Foy’s sense of melody and
turn of phrase that takes centre stage. Subtle nods to classic refrains,
mingled with her own inflection, suggest a writer who draws from many
different eras, resulting in a sound that is both timeless yet modern.
“Scum Rise” (from Under Color of Official Right / Hardly Art)
Protomartyr’s taut, austere rock was
incubated in a freezing Detroit warehouse littered with beer cans and
cigarette butts and warmed, feebly, by space heaters. Despite the cold,
Protomartyr emerged with a sound that is idiosyncratic but relatable,
hooky but off-kilter. Protomartyr’s economical rock elicits comparisons
to possible antecedents like Pere Ubu or The Fall as well as local
contemporaries like Frustrations or Tyvek (whose frontman Kevin Boyer
played bass in an early iteration of Protomartyr). Singer Joe Casey’s
dry declarative snarl serves as a reliable anchor, granting his
bandmates — guitarist Greg Ahee, drummer Alex Leonard and bassist Scott
Davidson — the opportunity to explore textures and reinforce the rhythm
section. This is never more apparent than on the band’s sophomore LP and
Hardly Art debut, Under Color of Official Right.
“Heavenly Days” (From The Sun Dogs / Sub Pop)
Rose Windows began in late 2010 in Seattle. On their debut album, The Sun Dogs,
the band incorporates elements of The Band, The Doors’ organ-driven
psychedelia, and Black Sabbath’s dirges, along with Persian, Indian, and
Eastern European music. Rose Windows have toured the West Coast
several times, fluidly sharing the stage with underground art-metal
bands one night and popular indie Americana acts the next. The Sun Dogs was recorded and produced by Randall Dunn (SunnO))), Boris, Earth) at Avast! in Seattle.
“Oranges & Lemons” (from Wild Books / Instant Classic)
you could only play rootsy, dirty, sunburned rock in Texas or Tennessee?
The duo Wild Books proves that you set out from a Polish garage to
follow in the footsteps of Jack White and The Black Keys. Wild Books’
self-titled 2014 debut record showcases retro-rock in its whole
“Dance” (from Motörcycle Rock and Roll / Instant Classic)
Three years ago, this guy proved you could be a surfer in southern Poland. This year he’s back with Motörcycle Rock and Roll,
a mix of psychedelia, garage, and surf, or as he likes to call it,
“garbage rock.” Fortunately the sound quality is inversely proportional
to its aesthetic value. Maciej Nowacki’s music will blow your socks off,
even though he himself admits that the only reason he got into music in
the first place was to prove he was in the arts at parties.