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  • Filed under: Review
  • 12/08/2011

Quick Spin

Darkside Darkside EP

Darkside is NY native and musical wunderkind Nicolas Jaar's side project with guitarist Dave Harrington; that brief description alone just about encapsulates the sound of the duo's debut release. The three untitled tracks that make up the Darkside EP aren't a far cry from the sparse, downtrodden productions heard on Jaar's debut album, Space is Only Noise, as the only discernible difference between the two records is the presence of warbling guitar sounds. The two musical styles actually mesh together quite well, but aren't explored much beyond the realm of moody, midtempo dirges.

To an extent, the cuts on Darkside are practically interchangeable. Harrington's guitar tone consistently evokes the essence of David Lynch film soundtracks, albeit with a bluesier edge, Jaar's beats remain slow and bouncy while utilizing a very limited number of sounds, the ever-present swirl of ambient noise is patently tense and brooding, and the low-register croons delivered by Jaar are manipulated with effects and vocoders a bit more than on his solo material. The resulting music is both impressive and original, but a straight listen through of "A1," "A2," and "A3" might lead you to believe the EP is actually one 15-minute song. So, it would seem that Darkside has settled on a very specific sound. That's all well and good, but we'll be looking forward to hearing a wider display of these talented musicians' abilities.


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