Gobstopper Records duo CLU tour Japan in their video for ‘Okami’

The Dublin AV duo’s Mood EP lands next week.

Mr. Mitch‘s Gobstopper Records should be your first port of call when seeking emerging artists that shatter the boundaries between the bedroom and the club – it was voted Hyponik label of 2015, after all.

CLU – comprised of musician Sean Cooley and visual artist Kevin Freeney – formed in 2011 to present music and artwork to their friends across galleries and venues in Dublin. You can find out more about the pair and their views on Dublin’s music and arts scene with this short 2015 documentary from Boiler Room.

Their debut EP for Gobstopper, Mood, is out November 18 and comes with four cuts that push grime-leaning synths up against cavernous atmospherics, skittering trap percussion and processed vocals.

EP track ‘Okami’ glistens with the kind of glacial melodies found on Iglew’s 2015 Gobstopper EP, Urban Myth, yet with a more R&B-indebted backbone – think Jeremih slowed to a hypnagogic stupor (it’s as good as it sounds).

You can watch the track’s hallucinatory video – which was shot by Kevin this summer on a trip to Tokyo and Kyoto – and read a short interview with CLU below.

How did you start working with Mr. Mitch / Gobstopper?

We have been looking for a likeminded label to release our new AV EP for a few months now. We sent the tracks and the visual elements to Mr. Mitch and he/Gobstopper got back to us saying that they were game. It’s very inspiring to be working amongst a collective of artists that value the audio and visual sides equally, as that’s what we’re really working towards.

Does the music always come before the visuals, or vice versa?

Neither – we are both working continuously on producing new work that excites us, and what we make inspires the other. It’s a constant stream of inspiration. It’s like we’re having a conversation but in two different languages and the audience is translating it. Sure, music has been put to videos and videos put to music, but the energy has always been constant. CLU is the mixture – it’s not one without the other.

Tell us about ‘Okami’.

The inspiration for ‘Okami’ came from playing a Japanese action adventure game, where you play out a story as a beautiful dog. That was the rigid but at the same time vague and loose structure – it created itself from there. The video for ‘Okami’ was recorded by Kevin in Japan during the summer of 2016. The footage is edited together live using the same programmes and software CLU use during their live AV shows. The video is a homage to vintage video feedback effects and the modern glitch aesthetic.

What plans do you have in the next year to showcase the record live?

We played a lot of live shows since our debut EP, GEMS. We worked on finessing our craft and live performances and got the opportunity to play in some of the biggest dance music venues and festivals Ireland has to offer. We’re currently looking for a booker that gets the AV aspect of our live show. As well as documenting a live performance soon, we’re also working on some more immersive shows in Ireland while getting our name overseas.

Mood is out November 18 on Gobstopper Records. Pre-order it on vinyl and digital. The EP launch party takes place November 18 at London’s Rye Wax – more info here.

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