Sunday, 30 October 2016

Album: James Darkin - Go No Matter What

James Darkin Go No Matter What
Photo: Nuno Batista

James Darkin - Chase

Info: Producer James Darkin releases his debut electronic album ‘Go No Matter What’ this October 31st, via Terminal 2 Records. The album features some of the many fine artists and musicians James has worked with in the studio over the years, including vocals from Veronica Moran of Plutonic Dust and Neil Bailey of Repeat, guitars from Paul Butler of Propeller Palms and Batuhan Mutlugil of Turkish rock band Duman, and classical flautist Róisín Ní Bhriain. The music on 'Go No Matter What' sets a dark and sometimes sinister tone and is inspired by late nights in crazy places, moving the listener across a deep mercurial landscape.

James, who recently signed with Tremolo Music Publishing, has spent over a decade producing and engineering for artists as Head Engineer at Temple Lane Recording Studios in Dublin. He has worked on recording sessions with Kanye West, and Rihanna for her vocals on Eminem’s 'Love The Way You Lie', as well as mixing for Hozier, Plutonic Dust, the forthcoming album from Funeral Suits and remixes for Katie Kim, RSAG and Jerry Fish.

James Darkin Go No Matter What Album

First off, James Darkin's Go No Matter What covers a lot of ground spanning four decades of electronic music, in a very gratifying way, whilst pinning everything close to the centre of a core of  a dark and industrial thrust. Opener 'Through The Keyhole' bounces between the sometimes cold urban worlds that Gary Numan used to visit, albeit at a much higher tempo, whilst also trundling through the later electronic catalogue of Primal Scream's XTRMNTR, somewhere between the two.

The second single to be released from the new LP, 'Chase' (above), straddles Massive Attack, but more so in mood than sound for this is most definitely a contemporary sound we are being presented with. It is here that Darkin affirmatively sets the tone for the rest of the album, a rhythmic build up with cyclical guitar riffs, it builds the first wall that will eventually surround us entirely in the world he creates.

Third track 'Destroyed' veers toward more ethereal heights, accentuated wonderfully by the excellent vocals from Plutonic Dust's Veronica Moran, there's a 90's house and club feel to the track, and though lighter than it's two predecessors, it sticks to the hypnotic rhythm we've heard so far. The first (and his debut single) release to be shared from the album comes courtesy of 'Needle Noise' (below). Here Darkin goes for a medley of techno-rave and creeping guitar riffs and beats, it's a kind of forlorn beauty, and the accompanying video is very well made and fitting, the dual experiences of it's central character reflecting the path the listener takes through the track itself.

James Darkin - Needle Noise

The album's title track at the half-way point, is disguised as a moment of respite, but somehow makes you feel uneasy and apprehensive, cleverly reducing the noise, but as a result reminding you very pointedly where you are. A definite highlight comes courtesy of 'Cutting Room Floor', a mechanical journey through a darkened tunnel of atmospheric electronics, there's a strong sense of isolation and being in a void, which in someways is a huge strength on Go No Matter What, you don't feel like it's a shared experience listening to the album, or wonder what other people may think when listening to it, it feels like it's only for you as an individual.

Greater vibrancy to and an almost celebratory shift join the fray on 'Island Calling' and 'Roll The Dice', again there's a throwback to 90's house and dance, and the atmosphere Darkin creates is most energising and slick. The album closes with 'Repeat The Run', only the second appearance of vocals on the album featuring Neil Bailey of alt-rock band Repeat. It's another layer to the many styles up until now, Bailey putting heart and soul into his vox á la Chris Cornell. The overall feeling you are left with by the end of Go No Matter What is that Darkin had a clear plan, as with every creative endeavour, tweaks and surprises appear along the way, but the album has been patiently and carefully constructed, and that effort has paid off here on what is a fine example of contemporary Irish electronic music.

Go No Matter What is officially released tomorrow, 31st October and is available on iTunes, Spotify and physical copy.

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