Nine EPs strewn across seven different labels has meant a long wait for ‘Imagin’. However, Dark Sky, three shape-shifting bass heads from London, have turned in a belter of a debut album. Carlo Anderson, Matthew Benyayer and Thomas Edwards have trodden a tightrope when trying to balance club bangers with fresh album tracks that both counterpoise and appear interesting.
But as the atmospheric teasers of ‘Imagin’ and ‘Silent Fall’ (video below) melt away to reveal the tough, abstract Latino stomp of ‘Voyages’, the smoke that bellows over the horizon screams of the fire found across the remaining seven tracks.
The trio repeat their game of lush ebb then banging flow as ‘Lucid’ and ‘Vivid’ lose us in the woods, before ‘Odyssey’ rushes our senses with a huge minimal bass drop: the album’s highest pass and most dangerous club ordinance.
Dark Sky find time for one more game of cat and mouse as guest vocalist Cornelia returns for ‘Nothing Changes’, an emotive composition that recalls the splendour of Moderat, before the haunted jaunt of ‘Rainkist’ hears scene peer dBridge add to a calm builder that succinctly transposes itself into the Eastern promise of ‘Manuka’, a sweet and spacious 4/4 romp into an Arabic hook that can stay with you for days.
It’s clear why Modeselektor have taken these boys under their wing. Dark Sky’s evocative tinkering with the DNA of futuristic garage and widescreen techno is walking warmly in their own legendary footsteps. ‘Imagin’ is one of 2014’s best dance albums.
Words: Matthew Bennett
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