13 Oct 2015

Foam Island by Darkstar

From The Sampler, 7:30 pm on 13 October 2015

Darkstar cropped
Darkstar duo Aiden Whalley and James Young. Photograph supplied.

Jim Pinckney delves into Darkstar's socially conscious gentle electronica.

Darkstar Foam IslandDarkstar are a pair of northern transplants, James Young and Aiden Whalley, who wound up studying in London and finding common musical ground in the tenuous area that became known as post-dubstep. Operating on the very fringes of dance music, with delicate pop aspirations and a decidedly ambient bent, they are the kind of outfit who don’t fit in with whichever scene they are cobbled into. If there is a cohesive thread through their music it is a sense of fragile unease. Foam Island, their third album, finds the duo adding a stronger socio-political aspect to their sound, using reportage of Huddersfield locals describing their lot during the last British General Election. It can make for heavy listening but there are some genuinely substantial and worthwhile songs hidden amongst the patchwork of spoken word intrusions, and Darkstar continue to intrigue, infuriate and sometimes delight.

Songs played: Go Natural, Pin Secure, Inherent In The Fibre, Tilly’s Theme, Stoke The Fire

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