Posts Tagged ‘darkstar’


It’s that time again…

October 8, 2010

Just a quick post to plug the new issue of AU. It’s out around the place now and we have published a list of stockists in Dublin here. Be quick though – it’s flying out. Or you can always subscribe.

On the cover, as you can see, we have Cee Lo Green while there are also big interviews with Ice Cube, Karl Hyde from Underworld and Randy Randall from No Age. We also have Kiran Acharya with his own inimitable look at the creationism debate, following on from Northern Ireland Culture Minister Nelson McCausland‘s provocative pronouncements.

Elsewhere in the mag, you’ll find a feature on fixed gear bikes (we ask, are they for dickheads?), as well as And So I Watch You From Afar, Les Savy Fav, Shit Robot, Yann Tiersen, Solar Bears, Isobel Anderson, Torche, Therapy?, Darkstar, Timber Timbre, Mount Kimbie, The Frames, William Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, HEALTH, and more.


You can now read the mag online by clicking here.


Video: Darkstar – ‘Gold’

September 30, 2010

I spent a week of so banging on about this band on Twitter earlier in the month. Darkstar are on Hyperdub (run by Kode9, home to Burial and Zomby), one of the key labels behind dubstep and related urban electronic music, but they sound very different. It wasn’t always this way – before they added vocalist James Buttery they released a couple of dub/dubstep-flavoured singles on their own 2010 label (Spotify here and here), and their first two singles on Hyperdub – ‘Need You’/’Squeeze My Lime’ and ‘Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer’ – were synth-heavy, skew-whiff garage. But the video below demonstrates their new direction.

A cover of an old Human League B-side (inspired by hearing it at 33rpm rather than 45rpm, apparently), ‘Gold’ leans heavily on that early-Eighties synth-pop sound but brings it up to date – fucked-with vocals and crisp modern production blend with plaintive piano and a gloomy atmosphere. It’s typical of an album that also includes ‘Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer’, a new version of ‘Squeeze My Lime’ (now called ‘When It’s Gone’) and seven new originals. North, is out on October 18. Mark my words, it’s one of the albums of the year.

Track List (key tracks in bold)

01 In the Wings
02 Gold
03 Deadness
04 Aidy’s Girl Is a Computer
05 Under One Roof
06 Two Chords
07 North
08 Ostkreuz
09 Dear Heartbeat
10 When It’s Gone

PS: I interviewed James Young from the band for AU – check out the next issue for that, I’ll post the PDF link next week.


AU59: Mary Anne Hobbs compilation review

October 13, 2009

Mary anne hobbs - wild angels


For those anyone not able or inclined to listen to Mary Anne Hobbs’ radio show every week, her Planet Mu compilations are fast becoming indispensable. Third time round, Hobbs’ picks have shifted slightly from dubstep-dominated Warrior Dubz and Evangeline to reflect more of the broad palette of experimental electronica, with five exclusives among its 18 tracks. In a slightly obtuse move, it opens with the hazy drone of Mark Pritchard’s ‘?’, before settling into a diet of skewed hip-hop (Hudson Mohawke, Mike Slott, Rustie, Nosaj Thing, Architeq, Teebs), mixed with work from the boundaries of dubstep (the techno-inflected Hyetal; Gemmy and Brackles with their bright neon synths), and some stuff that’s completely uncategorisable, such as Mono/Poly’s hyperactive ‘Red And Yellow Toys’, Irish act Legion Of Two’s dark and heavy ‘And Now We Wait’ or Darkstar’s haunting reworking of ‘Videotape’ by Radiohead. As ever, Hobbs shows that her ear is among the best in the business, and anyone with the slightest interest in the more esoteric end of electronic music will find more than the odd track to fall for here. Highly recommended.



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