reviewed by Savannah Rubalcava
Corbin Clarke, aka Corbo, proves he is well versed in electronic beats and mixing with his latest album, Quatro Treses. The album sets the listener on an ambient, electronic, and melancholic ride. Quatro Treses pushes conventional electronic and downtempo standards by clashing an amalgamation of disharmonious beats which, ironically, transforms into a harmonious tour de force. Predictability is unheard of in Corbo’s stunning technique with beats and choice of featured vocalists.
To catch all the nuances of this album, one must listen with concentration and intent. Quatro Treses requires and begs a listener for re-listens in order to realize the album’s layers and complexities. If not done, the essence of a song’s entirety is missed, as well as where a song begins and where it ends. The beautiful horn buildup in “Tamarindo” feat. Sudan Archives escalates until the horns vibrate, which is then abruptly interrupted by the sound of rainfall taking over. Dogs barking infiltrate “Vaycay” feat. Leilani Lancaster. And “One 4 Dirac” almost seems like two separate songs in one. Aside from prompting a listener to re-evaluate what’s going on musically and in reality outside of the album, (are those dogs barking outside? Is that water falling in my apartment?), Corbo’s mastery of beat mixing fluently incorporates non-traditional musical elements into top tier songs.
The poignancy of featured female vocalists on the album strikes a subtle chord within the field of electronic mixes. In, “Kim J” feat. Callie Ryan, Ryan’s vocals carry the song with an unconventionally high pitch and soft delivery just below the point of cracking. This vocal range typically causes a listener to squirm due to bad vocal tuning, but in this case, Ryan gives the song a haunting innocence. Similarly, Gemma Castro in “15 Addivan” carries the song with more humming than lyrics, making the song sound like a pristine Christmas morning. Corbo ends his album by keeping in line with the theme of unconventionality. “Los Voces” feat. Janet Ramirez is a treat as it’s the only song sung in Spanish, leaving the album on a note of determined sass by asking ladies to come forward, “Mujeres adelante”.
Corbo is an artist based in Los Angeles, California. He debuted Quatro Treses at the Chewing Foil, a creative arts venue in Los Angeles. When you listen to this album, imagine a night out, standing amidst art and artists, while listening to this album, live, for the first time. The precise intent of each song and coordination of the entire album requires a lending ear from beginning to end.