Over the past three years, Dark Sky have embedded their forward-thinking club workouts into the minds of fans and critics alike, melding the bass heavy sounds of DMZ-era dubstep with contemporary synth experimentation. The “Myriam” EP is the London trio’s fourth four-track EP in that time period and represents the most concise, insular incantation of their vision. Out now on Modeselektor’s 50Weapons imprint, “Myriam” is a tightly wound, intricate exploration of low-end sounds and an exemplary case of a soundsystem specific release. Dark Sky have never really dodged around the fact that their music is aimed directly at the (preferably dimlit and smoky) dancefloor, but Myriam is far less conducive to headphone listening than say, “Neon” (from the “Radius” EP) or “Totem” (from the “Black Rainbows” EP). From the huge, distended kicks that open “Shutter Speed” to the elongated chord progression of “Shades”, “Myriam” is not an easily digestible release, but a wholly rewarding one in the appropriate setting.
Stream: Dark Sky – Shades (50Weapons)
After the sparse bass and percussion exhortations of “Shutter Speed” and “Hequon” have passed, a semblance of the technicolor Dark Sky sound of yore begins to emerge in the EP’s second half. The warm synth washes that intercut the eight minutes of bass drum on “Shades” give the track a fantasy world veneer and a sense of humanity that is absent from the EP’s opening half. Warped chimes and water droplet noises can be found throughout “Gaddagive”, offsetting the at times overwhelming sub bass. Focusing on the water droplets for a moment, is there a more enjoyable, underutilized effect in a producer’s arsenal? It’s an inherently natural sound, but distinctly alien at the same time, plus it really goes when utilized in a syncopated fashion like on “Gaddagive”. “Myriam” doesn’t have an immediate earworm like “Neon”, but what it lacks in pop-sensibility is easily made up in the meticulous fashion Dark Sky arrange increasingly sparse elements.
Stream: Dark Sky – Gaddagive (50Weapons)
The “Myriam” EP is available now via 50Weapons.