Earlier this year I went through a phase of watching a Czech electronic music TV program called Frisbee. This was partly to discover new music, mainly a desperate attempt to improve my Czech to a point beyond excessive hand gestures. Along the way I managed to discover some talented Czech artists, one of these being Clara Bailar.
As with many of the artists that we’ve stumbled across in recent months, biographical information on Clara is rather scarce. According to her Soundcloud page, she is based in Prague, has released music on Czech net-labels Wazzotic Records, Issis Recordings and Sologroove and she also writes film scores. The few interviews to be found around the internet are rather dated but describe an artist and dj with a love of vinyl, a broad set of influences and an enthusiastic approach to partying, what’s not to like?
As I immerse myself ever further into music of all different ages and styles, I find that melody is the common element that causes me to drop whatever else I am doing and frantically scramble around for a pen to note down artist names and song titles. No surprise, therefore, that it was Clara’s ability to compose heart-wrenching melodies that ultimately made me put her music on repeat.
For me, three of her tunes stand out in particular:
‘Something Different’ sounds as though it was written with nostalgia in mind. The beautiful string melody conveys a sense of melancholy which is complemented by several piano motifs flickering into view from time to time to add some urgency. I love how the percussion grows until it is right at the forefront of the mix, its power contrasting with the delicacy of the melody.
‘Cross the Line’, continues the theme of interesting percussion. I’ve recently become obsessed with intricate and unusual hi hat and shaker combinations (I’ve always been cool); the sounds used in this case are full of texture and varied enough to keep you engrossed throughout. Again, however, it is the melody that is most striking. The use of several different sounds contribute to an epic atmosphere and a sense of something building.
‘Cloudy Roads’ offers something a bit different to first two. Beginning with a bouncy four to the floor beat and prominent bass, the introduction of the synth melody transported me straight back to the 1980s where a distant part of my memory seems to remember classics such as New Order’s Blue Monday playing in the car on the way to nursery. The introduction of the strings adds another dimension, resulting in a tune that combines emotion with groove.
Anyway, according to Clara’s Facebook page a new release is imminent. I highly recomemend checking out all of her music and if anybody hears that she’s playing out around Prague some time, we want to know about it!