Darkside

Vinyl Records and Rare LPs:

Spiral
New - LP - OLE1737LP
Sealed 2021 Original Gatefold, On Standard Black Vinyl. "As Darkside, Electronic Composer Nicolas Jaar And Multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington Unite Their Individual Strengths, But Also Take Their Combined Powers To New Places Neither Could Travel To On Their Own. The Band's 2013 Debut Full-Length Psychic Was A Sprawling Exploration Of Contrasts, Moving Through Winding Paths Of Genre Experiments And Production Twists That Should Have Clashed But Instead Gelled Into A Massive, Undulating Entity Somewhere Between Sci-Fi Soundtrack And A Full-Tilt Experimental Rock Record. Second Album Spiral Was Made After The Duo Took A Lengthy Break To Pursue Their Solo Outlets, Much Of It Coming Together During A Week-Long Marathon Writing Session. It's Every Bit As Shapeshifting And Epic As Psychic Was, But Less Reliant On Moments Of Softer Ambience Or Drawn-Out Atmospherics. The Genre Clashing Is Less Overtly Stated Even When The Songs Shift More Quickly From One Mode To The Next, And The Production Is More Concerned With Fine Details That Come Through Best On Headphones. "The Limit" Is An Avant-pop Masterstroke, And Indicative Of What Darkside Is Capable Of At Their Best. A Steady, Organic Drum Groove Pushes Along Slinky, Funky Basslines, Splintering At Times Into Formless Noise Or Moments Where The Rhythm Suddenly Disintegrates Into Chaos. Jaar's Falsetto Vocals And Smooth Acoustic Guitars Hold On Tightly To The Song's Pop Elements, At Odds With The Stereophonic Electronics And Abrasive Interruptions. The Song Is The Equivalent Of A Parent Trying To Have A Coherent Conversation While Ignoring The Baby Screaming In Their Arms, And Somehow Manages To Deliver Its Hooks Through The Layers Of Confusion. The Blues Elements Of Earlier Material Are Dialed Back Somewhat, But Harrington Still Flexes Some Muscular Rock Guitar Shredding, In Particular On The Unhinged Solo Of Opening Track "Narrow Road," And The Hypnotic Morricone-Meets-Can Shuffle Of Standout Track "Lawmaker." There's An Even Pace To Spiral, Even When Its Sonic Path Takes Abrupt Left Turns. "Liberty Bell" Unfolds Slowly, Growing Into An Overpoweringly Strong Track That Manages To Maintain A Spacious Feel Even With Its Dense Arrangement. The Creatively Uninhibited Nature Of The Project Meant Growth Was Inevitable Between Darkside's Debut And Their Second Album, But Spiral's Patient Approach And Controlled Subtleties Make The Album Remarkably Easy To Digest For How Much Is Going On At Any Given Point. It's One Of Those Rare Albums Where Dropping The Needle At Different Spots In The Same Song Would Yield Wildly Different Sounds, But Every Move Is So Gradual And Well Thought Out That The Wild Changes And Potentially Jarring Clashes Blend Into One Another Seamlessly." AMG Review By Fred Thomas. more

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