Album Review: Rustin Man - Clockdust

16 March 2020 | 1:17 pm | Christopher H James

"'Clockdust' lacks some of the otherworldly idiosyncratic qualities that made 'Drift Code' special."

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Having made us wait 17 trips around the sun for second album Drift Code, Clockdust’s arrival a mere one year later will have stunned many Paul Webb fans. 

The explanation? The Drift Code recording sessions yielded up about two albums worth of songs; similar in some ways to how Radiohead had Amnesiac mostly completed by the time Kid A came out. The songs on Clockdust are of a different character to Drift Code’s - a tad more conventional and seemingly more direct. And as with Drift Code, there’s an abundance of obscure instruments, including clacking kokoriko, okonkolos and ethereal organ sounds.

But Clockdust lacks some of the otherworldly idiosyncratic qualities that made Drift Code special. There’s fewer open spaces, lending tracks like Old Flamingo and Kinky Living a dusty attic vibe, with brass instruments imparting a historical feel and Paul Webb’s uniquely croaky vocals seemingly imploring you to uncover dust-layered secrets. Jackie’s Room is among the most impactful tracks here, with its seductive yet oddly creepy foreboding, but if you’re wondering where to start exploring Webb’s solo material, Drift Code remains the obvious starting point.