The second effort from Darkstar is a grower. It has many touchpoints and is as far from dubstep as you could imagine a band called 'future of dubstep' being. However, there is much here to enjoy and admire. Its probably better to label it as indie dance than dubstep although maybe some labels are as confusing as they are helpful.
Some tracks are memorable on first listen and others grow. Take for instance Timeaway Vs Amplified Ease. Timeaway winds up like a clockwork toy and its obscured vocals and beat don't grab instantly but will grow on you. Amplified Ease however will appeal on first listen. Its very much in the Animal Collective mould in terms of vocals and style - maybe too much so? If you want to compare this to other albums then it seems some way between Animal Collective and Balam Acab. This is experimental but not overly so and it does have a dreamlike quality that draws you in. You Don't Need A Weatherman is a great number with sparse arrangements somehow put together to provide a lush electronic stage for the vocals. The centre piece, for me at least, is A Day's Pay For A Day's Work. Dreamlike vocals, a simple piano start and vocals that sound like they could have come off The Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips. It builds slowly and works to become an almost lo-fi electronica anthem - if ever such a thing existed before now.
Overall its going to take some time to measure this fully. Its a rewarding effort and its creativity and understated electronica works well. It won't be to everyones tastes. It won't fill dancefloors. But you are likely to hear about this more as the year goes on. Its soundscapes and imagination are worth investigating.
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