Shut the Clor on Your Way Out

Clor, a band for whom musical differences surely seemed to be the whole point, have nonetheless succumbed to this hoariest of rock'n'roll fates and decided not to be a pop group anymore.

Unable to reconcile the yin and yang of wanting to be both wildly creative and chart-bothering, they will leave a big, uniquely C.L.O.R.-shaped hole in the all-too-generic world of guitar/electronic music.

Formed by dual/duel guitarists Barry Dobbin and Luke Smith a couple of years back out of the ashes of various unlamented coulda-bin contenders, Clor were signed to Regal/Parlophone on the strength of the demos for what would become their debut EP, 'Welcome Music Lovers'.

The dynamic tension between the pair fuelled their forays into club running via the chaotic and often brilliant Club Clor in Brixton, where they played host to the nascent careers of Tom Vek, The Rakes, The Research, Envelopes, Young Knives, Maximo Park, Shit Disco and, sadly, Hard-fi. Wisely, however, they turned down the Kaiser Chiefs. On their way they also did remixes for the Prodigy, the Envelopes, Le Tigre, Tom Vek, Shit Disco and someone else I can't remember right now.

Their self-titled, self-produced debut album was met with a mixture of plaudits and bemusement when it emerged last summer, but, as people got acclimatised to its strange new energy, became a strong cult classic, particularly among fellow musicians, and spawned the spazzy dancing freak hit-let, 'Love and Pain'.

The band toured extensively round the UK and slightly beyond in support of the album, augmented by the doughty pairing of Max Taylor and Harry Bennett, from Roots Manuva, on bass and drums, as well as the Ron Mael for the beaten generation, Bob Earland, on keys.

It is poignant that, as they split, Clor's star is arguably at its zenith, with 'Clor' about to be released in America and their future work eagerly anticipated by anyone with a keen interest in new music. Still, they leave a jewel of album for future generations to discover among the land-fill and rock detritus of so many of their peers.

At the time of writing the future career paths of Dobbin and Smith are
unclear, though both are likely to continue making music along their divergent routes.

John Best (Clor Manager)

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