Album Review: Selec — Teleph and homemade sin

Clarence Johnson

homemade sin

To release two EPs under two different names within a few months of each other suggests Clancy Clark — aka Selec, aka Clarence Johnson — has been busy. According to Clark, horror at the election of Donald Trump motivated him to be more proactive at making and putting out music.

Teleph collects tracks that are outside Clarks’ hip-hop wheelhouse. The intro track, “best and brightest,” sets distorted synth against layered, indistinct voices — possibly echoes of the cacophonous political campaign of 2016. “RAUS,” an Amen break-fueled drum & bass rinse out follows. The distorted synth and washes of noise create a claustrophobic feel, underlined by the vocal sample repeating “Get out!”

The other tracks — in particular “autoredact” — echo ’90s IDM, particularly Boards of Canada. On the surface these tracks are warm and fuzzy, but underneath there’s a vague dread. The use of voices distorted and layered into unintelligibility may be a comment on the destruction of civil discourse brought on by the rise of our current president. Or not.

Clark explores a different mood, with a different sound pallette, on homemade sin. The warm sound of the Fender Rhodes electric piano dominates these productions, sweetening the intricately varied hip-hop beats. Where Teleph is meticulously programmed, homemade sin is looser. The keyboard parts have a more live, improvised feel. For a producer used to working with samples and loops, the introduction of live playing shows a growing confidence as a musician.

These two EPs are different, but in the manner of two sides of a coin. Teleph is imbued with fear and foreboding, homemade sin with more comforting, hopeful emotions. While too abstract to be explicitly political, they do seem to evoke the dominant emotions swirling around current events. One says “we’re doomed!” and the other “it’ll be all right,” but both are well-made, subtle works that reward deep listening.

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 232.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »



Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

Don’t let other people’s opinions win.

Vote for your favorite people, places and events in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids area! In a time when local businesses need our support more than ever, your vote will send a little love to the places that make our community special. And don’t forget to tell us why—the best comments will be published in our December Best of the CRANDIC 2021 issue! Voting ends September 30.

Read the Best of the CRANDIC issue, on stands now

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.