Album: News From Nowhere
Record Label: Warp
Darkstar head further away from the bass and further into sonic exploration on their second full length
It was with their 2010 debut full length, "North", that electronica trio Darkstar shook off the dominant dubstep and two- step roots of their early singles and EPs in favour of a more meditative, dextrous sound that helped fill the void of that which was lacking in tangible emotional substance in electronic music. "News From Nowhere"sees them stray further from the path just as righteously, although it is an entirely different beast from "North."
"Timeaway", which previously dropped as a free download finds a meandering synth line and syncopated hand clap determining a subtle but competent groove. Warm, soothing layers and gorgeous harmonies take hold of the rising chorus. "Armonica" sounds like a much less glammy, less clunky but still surruptitiously industrial Depeche Mode with a lushous piano symphony at its core.
"A Day's Pay for a Day's Work" rehashes the Animal Collective "21st century Beach Boys" notion at its most accessible without much charm, but the 7 minute "Hold Me Down" revolves around a star- gazing but textured, wandering synth sparkle and incorporates gorgeous falsetto rushes and intricate synth developments.
If the shadow of dubstep was still slightly lingering over "North" then "News From Nowhere"sees Darkstar break free from the shackles and follow their expansive vision into enchanting, dextrous territory. The results are not huge, but they certainly could be, and in the meantime this is engulfing enough.
Key Tracks: Timeaway, Hold Me Down, Bed Music/ North View
For fans of: Animal Collective, Emeralds