Clock Rhythm by Acid Jeep distills a distinct flavor of “let’s rock some tough electro, but make the synths squigglier” bounce.

Warmly overdriven but not harshly distorted. Intense but not claustrophobic. Driving but not frenetic. Clock Rhythm keeps the balance right—and surprisingly fresh—at the intersection of genres that can veer rapidly into excessive or derivative sounds in the hands of other musicians.

I’m impressed by how much variety this album contains, while still remaining distinctly in the “electro” and “acid” realms of the adjacent techno possibilities.

Acid Jeep often avoids “pad” sounds, background layers of synth notes, and clear chord progressions. The resulting sleekness and syncopation feels a lot closer to a rhythm box equivalent of a ESG-style dance-punk band with bass, drums, and a single lead instrument than the lushness other home listening techno brings.

Sequencing “Noise Source” and “Tape Overwrite” back-to-back deftly juxtaposes tension and spacious bounce.

This album also makes room for compelling detours into relatively chilled-out-but-not-quite Boards of Canada or Black Moth Super Rainbow pastoral places and other more dubby techno spaces. “Syncussion” in particular uses restraint and sound design to arrive somewhere very different than it starts, and the closing “Growth and Decay” manages to feel like a coherent part of the album despite not having any recognizable drum sounds.

RIYL (recommended if you like): AFX’s “Analogue Bubblebath”; Aphex Twin’s “Classics”; Drexciya’s “The Journey Home”; Autodidact’s “Time Flex”; imagining if ESG hung out with Daft Punk to play Wipeout and got inspired by Meco’s extended drumline interplay on “Other Galactic Funk”.

"The Hydrogen Jukebox" was my college radio show's name for years on KUCR, then WRUR. Consider this Photonic Jukebox series a remix that still boosts sounds I want to share.

Leave a comment