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“Spiral” by Dark Side Review: Mysterious Alchemy

The electronic music duo Darkside sounds very good at this moment, but its roots can be traced back to at least half a century ago. The band consists primarily of vocal and electronics 31-year-old Nicolas Jaar and 35-year-old guitarist Dave Harrington, each playing multiple instruments. Together, they alternately make psychedelic dance music with long, gradual builds that are anxious and ecstatic.

The attraction of this project is how Darkside skillfully combines the passions of each member. Jaar had an immediate influence on his solo album “Space Is Only Noise” in 2011. In this album, his eerie and bizarre voice is built on pulsing minimal techno. Since then, he has released several solo albums and soundtracks and staged art installations. We also collaborate with prominent artists such as the 2019 LP “Magdalene” by British art pop singer FKA Twigs. Harrington’s roots are in jazz and improvisational rock, and his work in his own name touches on Great Full Dead, early 1970s space rock, and Miles Davis’ jazz fusion. In their first dark-side full-length 2013 Psychic, they met in the middle and Jarre’s stretched dance groove acted as a rhythmic bed for Harrington’s spare fan cliffs and space exploration leads. did.

This record was a critical hit and the pair was an immediate must-see at the festival. The ability to connect songs to long tracks at an astonishing climax enhances Daft Punk’s concert prowess when Darkside created a remix of the French duo’s 2013 LP “Random Access Memories” album length. It reminded me. But just as the Dark Side seemed ready for a commercial breakthrough, Jarre and Mrs. Harrington set it aside and moved on to other jobs. It was as if they preferred to stay underground, and it was unclear if they would record as the dark side again. But after eight years and a lot of work by two men in other areas, the project will return on Friday in a “spiral” (Matador).

The LP begins with “Narrow Road” and a chime prepared guitar, followed by Jaar’s moaning voice. The fact that the stringed instrument is the first sound you hear serves as a preview of the rest of the record. This is pretty close to the “psychic” aesthetic in most respects, but you can see Harrington stretching the instrument. His solo on electric guitar was his most notable contribution to his dark side debut, but some of the tracks here are built around his acoustic playing and are moody with heavy bass beats. Gives a gothic fork shade.

Many of these songs flow one after another, just as they did during the band’s live show. As a result, “spirals” often feel more like an expanded suite than a collection of songs. “Narrow Road” flows into “The Limit,” which characterizes Harrington’s beaten acoustic as a rhythmic element. His chord patterns imply jazz and funk, but with the absolute minimum number of notes and gestures. And his guitar has a reverberant glow that binds it to the surrounding electronics, giving the instrument a halo effect that evokes the softer side of Roxy Music.

“Spiral” by Dark Side Review: Mysterious Alchemy

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