Underground, Dance and Electronica with Chris Honnery
“So Dave and I made a Darkside album,” the prodigious producer Nicolas Jaar casually posted on his Twitter account last week. It was up to the music media to grab the ball and run with it and it’d be remiss of me not to follow suit. So let’s do this. The son of Chilean-born artist, architect, and filmmaker Alfredo Jaar, Nicolas is still only in his early 20s but is hugely venerated by the electronic cognoscenti. Jaar junior rose to prominence through the success of memorable cuts like the plangent ‘A Time For Us’ in the lead up to his debut LP, Space Is Only Noise. Heads continued to turn when he toured Australia at the start of the year, playing solo shows as well as performances with multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington as Darkside. The pair have since bunkered down in the studio to create a remix album of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories along with Psychic, an eight-track album that’s just been released on Jaar’s label Other People. For those wanting an idea of what the release sounds like, I could describe Psychic as a collection of slow-burning cinematic grooves that draw on a wide spectrum of influences, but would rather advise you to head to the Darkside site where you can listen to the first 11 minutes of the album. To amp up excitement levels, here’s slice of what the duo have already produced this year:
English producer Jon Hopkins, responsible for one of the best albums of this year in Immunity, will headline Oxford Art Factory on Saturday December 14. Hopkins previously ventured down under in ’09 when he played alongside Brian Eno, Underworld’s Karl Hyde and Toby Vogel as part of an improvising live collective at the finale of the Vivid Festival. He’s since been remixed by two of the more innovative names in electronica, Four Tet and Nathan Fake. This has helped Hopkins build a discography comprising soundtracks for two films (one of which garnered him an Ivor Novello nomination), excellent solo albums such as Insides and a Mercury Prize-nomination for 2011’s Diamond Mine with King Creosote. Despite this illustrious CV, it wasn’t until the release of single ‘Open Eye Signal’ ahead of Immunity that he catapulted onto the club radar with the likes of Apparat playing the track to raucous responses well before its release date. Hopkins has since cemented his shift towards more robust dancefloor-orientated sounds with memorable sets at Boiler Room and Berghain. “I was put into that chillout bracket by the 20 or so people that knew my stuff,” Hopkins recalls of his first release back in 2001, adding that such a categorisation “used to drive me mad… It was never my intention. I wanted to make things that are emotionally powerful in some way. I think it doesn’t matter what genre it’s in.” With Infinity (and its predecessor Insides), Hopkins demonstrated that he should not be stereotyped as a ‘chillout’ producer.
Vaunted Romanian DJ/producer Rhadoo will contribute the 72nd instalment of the fabric compilation series, releasing in late October. All but one of the tracks featured on the mix are previously unreleased, which one would expect from one of the lynchpins of the Romanian scene. “I recorded the mix at home in Bucharest. Most of the tracks are unreleased from friends,” Rhadoo said via press release. “I’m always looking for fresh crazy tracks to keep me interested. I’ve wanted to do a mix like this for ages and thought about doing it on my label, but the mix for fabric was the perfect opportunity. I wanted to present these artists to more people as they are not very well known but really talented.” If Rhadoo’s mix is of the same quality as the Fabric album delivered by fellow member of the a:rpia:r collective Petre Inspirescu at the start of the year, then we’re in for a treat. Aside from showcasing Rhadoo’s exceptional taste, Fabric 72 also demonstrates the Romanian’s supreme abilities in the mix – he’s got that rare ability to use different tracks to create a result that is greater than the individual parts. Check out Rhadoo’s sound here:
Saturday September 21
Saturday September 28
Deep Impressions: electronica manifesto and occasional club brand. Contact through email@example.com