CLEME creates moody, textured, heady, sometimes ambient songs in the key of hip hop but not loyal to any one genre solely. Geographically located in Kansas but having spent time on both coasts (SFCA / BKNYC) the influences of all things come together in the middle, blended in such a manner that many references are subdued, creating a unique sound with nods to not just beat music but all music, allowing a freedom from being pinned down to one specific formula and in turn flexible for performances outside the box for other similar artists, having played everywhere from large theaters to smoky bars, small coffee shops and art galleries.
Officially formed in 2011 as a solo project of established visual artist Ian Stewart, founder of BIG MENTION after having spent time honing his craft in collaborations with various artists including post rock veteran turned experimental electronic artist CHRISTOPHER FLORES (co-founder / guitarist of SONNA - Temporary Residence Ltd.) in addition to producing remixes and instrumentals for a variety of other artists, each with a very personal touch added to them.
Excerpts from a recent review summarize this notion:
“Cleme is approaching electronic dance music as a means to produce art. EDM has long been just a vehicle to fill clubs with loads of thirsty dancers, but Cleme aims to expand the genre's horizon”
“He has a cut-and-paste method, but it is unlike that of many other "remix artists. Much of Stewart's found material is self-produced, not relying on borrowing from pop-art material”
“ Stewart is careful not to overwhelm the listener, and instead he approaches his musical works with the heart of a minimalist pioneer. Spending little time using contemporary club song structure and hook, Stewart often straddles the boundaries between pure experimental ambient electronic music, such as Brian Eno or Gas, and gravitates to beat experimentalists like Boards of Canada and Autechre ”
“ What it would sound like if a Rothko and Pollock piece were interpreted through Banksy on a sampler ”
After co-hosting and performing at the monthly beat music showcase HEADZ that featured national reknowned artists SHIGETO, CHROME SPARKS, JEL, and BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD he went on to share the stage with more artists including
BLOCKHEAD, RJD2, MONO/POLY, DAEDELUS, DREAMCRUSHER, GOLDEN LIVING ROOM, LIVING GHOST, COUNT BASS D, and BLUEPRINT.
The live version of CLEME is simple (in opposition to his studio setup that is filled with guitar pedals, microphones, tape recorders, synths, ethnic drums, and various homemade percussion instruments ) consisting of only a midi controller, microphone and laptop (containing an anything but simple grid of sounds and loops vailable for triggering). It heavily involves the elements of improvisation, rolled out as a constant movement, flowing like a DJ mix from an alternate dimension , not pausing from beginning to end and includes a large scale, dreamy, hypnotic video projection created specifically for each show, bringing the audience into the performance in a trance-like state.