Darkstar: News From Nowhere (Warp)

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Darkstar: Armonica
Darkstar: News From Nowhere (Warp)

The 2010 debut album North by the one-time dub-step British duo of Aiden Whalley and James Young brought in vocals by James Buttery for an album of unexpected and understated beauty full of beat-driven ambience, minimalism and discreet touches of romanticism.

Now seemingly an official three-piece with Buttery, Darkstar are purveyors of liquid melodies, Eno'n'Fripp-like sonic textures for electronics and weightless vocals (the untitled fourth song which also nods towards David Sylvian's ethereal style), lightly brushed pop (A Day's Pay for a Day's Work and others melodically refers overtly to early Beach Boys ballads and harmonies) and mildly anxious minimalism (You Don't Need a Weatherman with its looped and repeated figures).

Mostly this is atmospherics with gentle tunes and pastel shades of synths where little other than a slight increase in the bpm factor will do anything to raise the pulse.

The opener sets the tone with its title, Light Body Clock Starter. You are woken gently, the clock started . . . and thereafter told to relax.

Their album covers are also telling; North had industrial piping and this has flowers in full bloom. That sums it up nicely.

You are feeling sleepy . . .

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