Dark Sky "Confunktion" b/w "Double U"
Between the group's blisteringly productive output and unflinchingly dour press photos, it's clear that Dark Sky is driven by little else than the desire to make music. With five EPs released in the last two years, Matt Benyayer, Thomas Edwards, and Carlo Anderson have slid frictionlessly across a spectrum of UK-influenced genres, embracing everything from 2-step, dubstep, garage, techno, and house along the way. The trio's versatility is heightened by a casual disdain for focusing on one style for too long. While 2011's breakthrough anthem "Neon" was a skeletal garage powerhouse of immediately gripping proportions, the group would subvert that sound a year later for the stormy Myriam EP, trading in euphoric dancefloor release for the burrowing nihilistic experimentalism of tracks like "Hequon." Last month's "The Click" b/w "Fallout," a collaboration with Ben Westbeech (under his Breach moniker), even found a way to weave subtle pop threads into Dark Sky's musical fold. So, while all bets were off with what sonic directions its latest outing on Tectonic Recordings would explore, "Confunktion" b/w "Double U" strikes a nice middle ground between Dark Sky's previous releases, channelling the experimental, dancefloor-leaning, and pop-friendly sides of the project into a cohesive offering.
"Confunktion" masks rattling percussion under a veneer of fog for the first minute, only to have a suddenly emerging bassline rise from the mist, snarling like a rabid dog and propelling the track forward with a violent, jarringly kinetic peak-time energy. Fractal remnants of former Dark Sky tracks like "Shades" are wedged in the accompanying hi-hats, and the tactfully placed hiccuping mids maximize the track's impact. But really, "Confunktion"'s deep, low-end-stinging bassline alone could easily carry the track through its six-minute span.
On the flip, "Double U" delves further into Dark Sky's experimental side, as chirpy blips and careening bongos ricochet off each other while a barely there tambourine lurks in the background. The kicks come to a simmering point, doubling, then tripling up upon themselves, creating a percussive wormhole backed by a chorus of otherworldly quavering incantations that alternate between sinister and silly. Where the Myriam EP prided itself on straight-faced, unblinking seriousness, "Double U" is Dark Sky at its goofiest, and the vibrant energy surging through the track translates instantaneously. The only downside to the murky aggressiveness and innovative studio trickery explored within "Confunktion" b/w "Double U" is that it's unlikely the group will linger in that territory (or any, for that matter) for too long.
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