More track-by-track breakdowns in our archives.
The album, a ten-song full release, promises to be a new and bold direction for Clone 334, focusing on new musical palettes and techniques his fans haven’t seen yet. Entropy will be Clone 334’s 9th full studio album currently on the Clone 334 Bandcamp page — a discography bolstered by 38 other EPs and singles, currently available on the platform.
“In Entropy, I’ve tried to expand my musical abilities by honing new techniques in mixing and composition. I’ve worked with analog and digital synthesis, deepened my knowledge of composition and melodies, and employed tons of new tricks I’ve learned in the composing process.”
The album will be available for pre-order on (date), which will give fans access to “Heat Loss,” Entropy’s single.
Clone 334 composes beat-driven electronica inspired by techno, noise, and experimental music in his New Mexico home studio. Manipulating low drones and unrepentant melodies, Clone creates new and genre-defying soundscapes that thrum with life and sound.
Engine – Engine is a track I’ve wanted to write for a long time. On past albums, the concept always slipped out of my hands and became something else. This time I feel like it’s finally worthy of the name. The track feels like an engine, driving some futuristic machine that produces an army of clones.
The driving force of the track is the Moog Minitaur, which has a MIDI sequence of 16th notes running to it. I then play the filter and resonance in real time to create the movement on the track.
Homeslick – I recently moved from Pennsylvania to New Mexico. I’m not the kind of person who gets homesick, but the idea kept running through my head. When I write my music I always have a concept or idea that drives the piece, how that ends up translating isn’t always evident to anyone but me. My music is kind of like my journal for myself, so when I look back on tracks I remember what was happening around the time I made it. This album is the first thing I made since I set up my new studio in NM.
The lead synth line is also very important to me. It’s the only thing that I got to record on my Dreadbox Typhon before it quit working and I had to send it back for a replacement, which I still haven’t gotten yet. It’s been a 3+ month process. I always have trouble buying synths.
The Satellites Crash into Earth – This track is about an image I have stuck in my head of a post-apocalyptic landscape. The humans are all gone and pieces of our technology litter the earth and skies. So without anyone to maintain them, all the orbits slowly decay until the satellites start crashing into the ocean. In the last bit of the track, there are some white noise sounds that represent them crashing.
This might be a good place to talk about the overall creative process of this album. In anticipation of receiving the Dreadbox Typhon, I built out beats and recorded basslines with my Moog Minitaur. Then when the Typhon arrived I was going to use it for leads, pads, and whatever else. Well, I only got Homeslick started before it broke. So now I have a whole album I want to work on and have to decide which machine is going to finish it. My main goal with this album was to try to do things differently than I have in the past. I wasn’t doing anything wrong before, but I just wanted to learn something new. So I’ve never used MIDI before. I’ve always programmed in FL Studio or used CV and analog gear. Now, all the synths on this album are MIDI sequences sent out of FL Studio, to my Minitaur and Alesis Micron, then recorded back in as audio.
Sin – Sometimes a word just gets stuck in my head and won’t leave until it’s a track title. This might be the track that represents what I do the most on the album. I start with a bunch of stuff that sounds too good and then bitcrush it until I can stand listening to it on loop. This track went through a lot of iterations and kept not feeling evil enough for me. This was the track where I discovered “Bromide”, which is a preset on the Alesis Micron. It’s wild, completely random and uncontrollable. And I used it on 9 out of the ten tracks on this album. I love how it creates singular moments in the tracks that don’t repeat with the rest of the loops. I think Bromide gave this entire album an organic feel that it wouldn’t have otherwise.
Summertime featuring Irilay – So, one of my favorite tracks of all time is Summertime by Jamie Jones. I didn’t copy that song, but I did use it as inspiration to create a spiritual version of my own. This is my favorite track on the album.
I think Irilay is an amazing singer and lyricist. I sent him an early version of the track and he laid down these incredible vocals and then I had to fix the rest of the track to bring it up to that level. He doesn’t have anything on bandcamp yet, but I think everyone needs to go follow his soundcloud.
It took me a long time to get the bass in Summertime to rumble just the way I wanted. I think this is the fifth version of it. And the break down halfway through, I wanted to deconstruct the track and just have a lofi mess that pulls you along and brings you back into the main beat. I am thinking about making my next album based entirely on this break, I love the bitcrushed drum loop so much. Sometimes things just fall into place, you know?
Liquid Sequence – On this one, I recorded the bassline from my Moog and the track name just fell into my head. Everything about it just moved in a way that felt so fluid. Then I had to come up with the rest of the track and keep everything shifting and moving in the same way. There’s percussion in it that reminds me of drops of water. The whole thing ended up being very literal. I feel like I ended up with a solid piece of techno that moves organically.
Another thing this track really showcases for me is the kickdrums on this album. I have spent my entire music career trying to make kickdrums hit as hard as I can. On Entropy, I finally broke through that wall and may have to pull them back a little on the next record.
Gradual Decline into Disorder – Oh yes, the actual definition of Entropy. This track was meant to be the single. I wanted to start with something nice and then really mess it up at the end of the track. It ended up being more restrained than that. There are effects channels on every track that automate gradually through the whole track. The most obvious one is the delay effect on the kick drum that just turns it into a pulsing mess by the end. The lead melody also falls apart in a way that I absolutely love.
Heat Loss – So, in art there’s this thing that happens a lot, where the thing you put the least effort and time into turns out to be everyone’s favorite. Heat Loss is the epitome of that for me. I thought it was my weakest track on the album. I was even considering scrapping it or reworking it. But everyone who has heard it has loved it. This is the main reason I write so much music. No amount of time or effort can determine what someone is going to like, so why worry about it. I make things and make them sound as good as I can, but I really have no idea what anyone wants to hear. Heat Loss makes me feel like I am a conduit for my music. I don’t make it. It just kind of flows out and has a life of its own.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a quantity vs quality thing. I strive to make every track sound as good as possible. But you gotta know when to stop tweaking small fiddly things no one will notice. I’ve heard of people that will spend hours or days perfecting a snare. Maybe some of my snares need a bit more love, but I just don’t think that would have made Heat Loss any better.
Breadbug – On this album, I was learning to use MIDI. All the basslines and melodies were programmed in FL Studio and sent out to my synths. I admit I am not the best at writing melodies and it has really taken a lot of effort to push myself in this area. Breadbug is my proof to myself that I can write a melody. The lead line is 4 different synths that are layered on each other. The different versions of the line come in and out to create movement in what is essentially the same pattern repeated for four and a half minutes.
Oh, and Breadbug is one of those words that just got stuck in my head. Is it a bug that eats bread? Or a bug that lives in bread? Or is it just shaped like a loaf of bread? I don’t think we’ll ever know.
Electronic Energy Drink – I have a friend who ends all his albums with a similarly named track. I don’t know if I’ll ever do Electronic Energy Drink 2 and 3 to truly match him. But this is my spiritual tribute to his music and our friendship. Oh, and if you know who I’m talking about, don’t tell him. I want to see if he notices…