Boomkat Product Review:
Clara!'s spine-tingling latest rewires sensual reggaetón and cloudy trap with expert production assistance from SKY H1, Low Jack and Pearson Sound. Mystifyingly plastique and deep as fuck, it shares space with recent gear from Florentino, Arca, Nick León, DJ Python and Kelman Duran.
Clara! has had us glued to her output since the crucial first installment of her 'Reggaetoneras' mixtape series dropped on SoundCloud way back in 2015. Since then she's kept up the momentum with genre-dissolving collabs with Maoupa, Low Jack and Pearson Sound, among others, and on 'Pulso', she circles back once again, calling on a few of her friends to help craft an asymmetric reggaetón statement that's steeped in sexual desire. Deviously poppy, it's a unique take on the globally dominant sound.
Horizontal and lusciously dreamy, 'Brillo' gets 'Pulso' off to a heady start, with SKY H1's slippery atmosphere's smoothly couching Low Jack's jerky, skeletal rhythm. Clara! meets her co-producers with a robotic lullaby that mutates into jagged rap; she's keen to stress that although reggaetón is a genre that was imported to Spain from Puerto Rico and Mexico, it's music that's deeply nostalgic for her, reminding her of parties she frequented as a teen. And she's able to put her own spin on it - 'Pulso' isn't a strict reggaetón record by any means, but takes its familiar accent as a rhythmic root, crossing it with whispered R&B, uncanny club deconstructions and woozy, overcast trap.
She invites Hakuna Kulala's Kabeaushé into the fold on the ornate 'Elle', looping their schoolyard vocal hook around lounge-y drums (from Hessle's Pearson Sound) and Middle Eastern string cuts. It's one of the EP's subtlest but hardest hitting bangers, showing off the range of her voice and the power in her motion: less is almost always more. And Pearson Sound shows up again on the trance-infected 'Gotas', a slow burner that's balanced around a piercing snare and subtle dub-rave siren mutations. But it's the sing-along 'Charcos' where Clara! seems most at ease, curling her pillow talk around ratcheting hats and narcotic synths.