FUNHOUSE OF MIRRORS
As if Detroit-area über-producer Mike E. Clark needed more fun(k) on his work platter, what with his ongoing ICP duties (including recording the soundtrack to the Clowns' upcoming flick Big Money Hustlers), Static Revenger and Control Freq board work, remix action and laying down tracks for other up-and-coming acts, he's taken it upon himself to engage in a prolific Web-exclusive string of releases. The releases are pure Clark. That is, they give a good taste of the skills he's shown the world throughout the sessions highlighting his curriculum vitae and feature him handling all the performing and board work.
The first set of five tracks — titled, simply, October 99 — became available at MP3.com in, well, October of this year. The cuts — including the Muscle Shoals-funk/breakbeat flow of "Ima Skill You" — are still available for purchase ($9.99) or cyber-perusal ("Ima Skill You" is available for free preview).
Also up and available is Clark's subsequent November 99 set (yet another five tracks). The free track from this set, "Look Inside You," is straight out of the Filter-NIN school of hard angst and finds Clark in full vocal howl as an underworld of guitars and beats crash around him. It's heady-heavy stuff, which seems to imply Clark giving an "anything you can do, I can do better" to whomever's twiddling the knobs for the Limp Bizkit-Korn wannabes. The other tracks (available for purchase) sound like further atmospheric explorations with titles such as "Dead People's Party," "Swammy Drive By" and "G's Groove." But you'll have to slap down the virtual ducats to be certain.
Of course, December's release, in the works now, will likely find the free sample track going in yet another direction — but, after all, variety is the stuff of which great producers are made. Even if the cuts play like résumé tracks, it's a worthwhile endeavor into the world of self-release and wickedly effective promotion.
Check out the project for yourself at Clark's MP3.com page, or visit mikeclark.com.
WORLDWIDE OVERTURES Overtures
Novi-based independent record label Overture Records (once and present home of such acts as Esham, Workhorse Movement, Solid Frog and many others) has struck a manufacturing and distribution deal with New York City-based TVT Records. TVT, as you may or may not know, has been one of those cool, larger indie labels that has really been on the ball adapting itself to stay afloat. Known as much for introducing nine inch nails to the world and re-releasing the back catalog of acclaimed industrial label Wax Trax (Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Front 242, etc., you know) as for great records by Guided By Voices and XTC, as well as Sevendust and, recently, rapper Snoop Dogg and Tha Eastsidaz. TVT's first task with Overture will be the marketing and distributing of Detroit hip-hop crew Natas' new album, WWW.COM.
What does this mean to you, Detroit music aficionado? More and better exposure for some of the area's talented rock, hip-hop and pop outfits, and the ability for Overture's Detroit-based artists to shed ever more light on their hometown. Which, generally, in the words of Queen Martha, is a good thing.
NORTH BURBS MUSICKING
If you're in the neighborhood of downtown Ferndale (hell, if you're not, head that way!) pop into Xhedos coffeehouse, 240 W. Nine Mile, this Friday for a marriage of the visual and the aural that'll set the wayback machine for a bit of old-time country. Farmington Hills painter Michael Francis Miller celebrates the opening of his new exhibit of paintings by adding his own music and poetry to the festivities. The opening (6-8 p.m.) will also see the debut performance of the band known as Blanche, featuring Two-Star Tabernacle folk D. Buell and T. Racee Miller, as well as Tempermill Studio maestro Dave Feeney and former MT promotions guru Brian Boyle. The music should provide the ideal counterpoint to M. Francis Miller's haunting acrylic-on-canvas portraits of American Civil War figures. Call 248-399-3946.