Golden Scissors


Branden Clarke, AKA IG88, brings us his first album with Nueva Forma, A Loom and Not Me, with supporting vocalists Jenni Potts and Bed of Stars. Branden is based out of the Seattle, Washington, and if you’re from that area you might have been lucky to attend one of his reported string of amazing sets. Though you couldn’t know it from the album, Clarke incorporates live production techniques into his stage performance, sampling and sequencing on the fly to create an exclusive listening experience for his attendees. Something that seems to be rare nowadays in an industry flooded with DJ acts.

Growing up in the outskirts of Seattle, Clarke’s musical expedition started at age 10 when he got his hands on a guitar, however in 2003 during high school he started producing on Pro Tools, giving him an even balance in acoustic and electronic instrumentation. On his profile on Nueva Fourma, Clarke says “he would maybe like to fool you into believing that he and his buttons are buried somewhere in between a spray of ambient elation and the sands of a remote desert planet.” Obvious from his name, a reference to Star Wars’ infamous assassin robot, is that he finds inspiration in science fiction. Obvious as well from the galactic tale he weaves with his new album.

This album is inexplicable and original, however familiar and nostalgic. I suppose for me it reminds me of somewhere between Massive Attack’s Mezzanine and edIT’s Crying Over Pros For No Reason, though it seems that most people who listen to it identify with the album differently. It is consistently layered with interesting and unique rhythm tracks and little tidbit vocal samples that will give you something new to hear every time you have a chance to listen to it. This is not something that you could sit down and listen to once and fully grasp it’s meaning. It has something reflective and mysterious about it, something impervious to the flaws of the human condition. It’s not something that I fully understand yet. I implore you: Take the time to listen to this album in it’s entirety.

Seahorse paternity test brings you immediately into a dream state: you become overpowered by the deep bassline and entrancing arpeggios combined with Jenni Pott’s sultry and breathy voice and Clarke will have you unwilling to resist. Clarke holds you in this state throughout the album, and keeps your attention with his masterful sonic storytelling. The entire album is crafted into journey that seems like a contemplative dream. Sometimes, like during Gateway Hug, Clarke is precise and detached, building successively on intricate and precisely layered patterns of carefully selected samples growing into a swelling feeling inside of you. Other tracks instead serve to bring that energy within you back under control, like Memoir Ease, a melancholy lullaby with interesting back noise that places you somewhere far, far away. Clarke’s cosmic vision can instantly move you into a whole new world, like in Ominous Head Rush, when you feel as relaxed as absolutely possible one moment and the next you metaphorically wake up somewhere new.
As the final moments of Coughing on Syrup Shores draw to a close, the album leaves you with an interesting little beat that fades off into the distance, and you feeling renewed and kind of like you just went to the moon and back. After listening to this album over twenty times in the last week, it has had a different effect on me every time. The overall mood evolves as you listen to it constantly and you notice more that wasn’t apparent at first. Overall this music is interpreted as an experience and I can imagine that Clarke intended as much. But don’t take my word for it.

Other reviewers are going crazy for this new work:
“From the opening vocal lines of the collaborative cut Seahorse Paternity Test to the more straight forward personal favorites like Tom Almond Brokaw and Adult Tree, this is both a tribute to electronic music and a forward thinking foundation to build on.” –
“As the album continues you discover that you are in a world which is filled with beautiful things. When things seem hard, just simply hit play.”
“Just listen to the soothing sounds of IG88’s new album A Loom & Not Me and you’ll be too mellowed out to lift a fist against me (or anyone for that matter).”


Pre-orders at Nueva Forma are available now as the album ships on the 19th of March.



One Response so far.

  1. Ian S. says:

    Awesome review! I want more. MOAR!

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