Recommended: Dark Sky – In Brackets

With this year’s edition of Red Bull Music Academy going down in New York, the Big Apple’s club scene has been the talk of the Internet. With tens of thousands of words being spent either aggrandizing or eulogizing the scene, it’s important to note that the individual players are equally or even more important than any perceivable overarching trends. One of those players is Mister Saturday Night, a five-year-old party/label helmed by longtime club veterans Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin. Their Saturday Night parties are the things of legend, both warm and welcoming in vibe and discerning in musical selection, a rarity in the often-misanthropic American club environment. Eamon and Justin have even gone as far as to set out a list of “rules” meant to make everyone comfortable at both their Saturday night and Sunday afternoon affairs. One would be remiss to pass over the opportunity to party with these fine gentlemen in the egalitarian and tactful environment they’ve carefully cultivated. In March of last year, Eamon and Justin launched Mister Saturday Night Records and have brought the same keen curatorial tendencies to the imprint business via releases from some of the most innovative artists New York has to offer, including Truants favorites Anthony Naples and Archie Pelago.

Stream: Dark Sky – Voices (Mister Saturday Night)

To this point, the label arm of Mister Saturday Night had been entirely New York-centric, but that changed two weeks ago with the release of South London trio Dark Sky’s “In Brackets” EP, the prolific act’s fourth release in the past 12 months. Unlike the soundystem workouts offered in the Myriam EP and Confunktion / Double U single, “In Brackets” sees Dark Sky opting for a sound fitted more for a sunny afternoon than a smoky side-room at a London club. More aptly put, the release sounds like the perfect piece of music for an outdoor Mister Sunday party. Of course, Dark Sky have shown a protean ability to experiment with different sounds, arrangements and tempos in the past, so the transition from dubstep to house/garage comes easily here. That propensity for change, however, has never brought them this far into the light. Take “Voices”, a track that builds on live sounding percussion (à la Gerry Read or Dro Carey’s Tuff Sherm alias) with beatific violin chords and a heavily filtered and chopped vocal sample. By 2:45, a hook-y piano melody has entered the picture and the track bears almost no resemblance to Dark Sky’s past work. This sort of transition could be characterized as a sort of selling out and/or moving into more pop-oriented waters, but that would be a disservice to the work both Mister Saturday Night and Dark Sky put in to this release. Like everything else Justin and Eamon do (like employing the nicest bouncers on either side of the Mississippi), “In Brackets” was a total release, from the meticulously hand stamped vinyl to the airy, yet contemplative, vibe that Dark Sky embedded deep in the EP’s fabric. It’s confounding that Eamon and Justin had never heard of Dark Sky, and actually thought that they were from Brooklyn when the two parties first came into contact, but “In Brackets” turned out to be the perfect first non-New York release for the label.

Stream: Dark Sky – In Brackets (Mister Saturday Night)

The “In Brackets” EP is available now via Mister Saturday Night Records, and can be streamed here.

Gabe Meier

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