It’s nice to be pleasantly surprised once in a while, and Free Reign, the new album by UK band Clinic, has been on high rotation here at Flavorpill of late. We’ve always rather liked Clinic’s work, but we’ll be honest — we didn’t expect to enjoy this record nearly as much as we have been. Perhaps the most notable thing about Free Reign in comparison to Clinic’s other records is just how interesting its production and general sound is, which is perhaps not surprising since Oneohtrix Point Never assumed production duties. There have been plenty of examples of electronic artists producing songs for rock-inclined types over the years, everything from Giorgio Moroder working with Blondie on “Call Me” to Alec Empire collaborating with the John Spencer Blues Explosion and, um, Chris Cornell working with Timbaland on the ill-fated Scream. Here are some of our favorites. Did we miss any?
Clinic — Free Reign
Producer: Oneohtrix Point Never
So, yes, Free Reign. Among other things, it rather reminds of Liars’ standout WIXIW from earlier this year (of which more shortly) — there’s a similar sense of existing in some fertile border zone between guitar music and electronica, and also a similar sense of joyously unrestrained creativity. We imagine that at least part of this is down to the influence of producer Daniel Lopatin, aka Oneohtrix Point Never, whose own productions have been some of our favorites of recent years.