Boomkat Product Review:
Diverse and experimental new album from Finnish dubsteppers Clouds, plus remixes from Gerry Read, Tomutonttu and LHF's Amen-Ra. Bucking any expectations from the start, 'USB Islands' ambitiously melds symphonic MIDI strings with wry, dissonant modular synth noise and their usual subbass concoctions to intriguing degrees. On the first plate 'Cannibal Generals' sounds like a radiophonic take on dubstep, while 'Four Hands' cuts into abstract, crushed and atonal territory reminding of that Bandshell 12" on Lib Tech, only with the maddest modular tweaks, and we're in more familiar ground with the folksy vocal and lurching rhythms of 'You Go To My Head'. Second plate steps on a psychedelic R&Bass vibe sounding like Fonal gone AntiSocial, and they're most successful on the slyding, dissonant melodies of 'Napalm' or the dusted twinkle-toed groove of 'Get Over It'. Gerry Read's remix is a wild one, riding wooden drum thumps and haywire organ riffs like some ace Theo Parrish groove whereas Finnish singularity, Tomutonttu does something much cuter, stranger and psychedelic with flutes, miaowing samples and 8-bit zig-zags, and Amen Ra turns in a wavey fusion of early grime bass and cosmic jazz flourishes living up to the influence of his namesake.