Since graduating from the Quakers record, Coin Locker Kid has gone off the deep end of rap. His appearances on the Geoff Barrow produced record on Stones Throw did not set up a contract with the label or further collaboration with Barrow. Even David Byrne's journal entry on CLK's potential to blow up did not keep the machine wheels turning. Instead, it has led to two experimental records that wallow in isolation and border on cabin fever. Last year's The Ghost Sonata began with a head nodding beat offset by a ghoulish singer claiming “I've got fear in my heart… it's been there from the start”, while the album liner notes simply say: “An isolationist romance in three acts.”
On Traumnovelle Coin Locker Kid does not dial down his affinity for the avant-garde, but embraces it, gives it fuel, and apologizes for nothing. In 2010 Open Mike Eagle arrived on the platform of “unapologetic art rap”. Coin Locker Kid's Traumnovelle represents the radical of art rap. He maneuvers through a sing-song style that lapses in and out of structure based on the production's metamorphsis. Traumnovelle feels like a response to Dose One & Boom Bip's Circle, the original musique concrète of art rap, and at the same time, has nothing to do with it or possibly is unaware of it entirely. Coin Locker Kid's isolationist in North Carolina aesthetic denies the regional rap pin, making its only geographical source the limitless space within his skull. Wherever CLK goes, his music goes – truly at his mercy.
Traumnovelle is available on CLK's Bandcamp.