There’s something quite nomadic about the life Darling Farah has led, being born in Detroit before emigrating at a young age to the United Arab Emirates. Now the hotly tipped producer has relocated to London, clearly seeing greater opportunities to further his musical endeavours compared to a society that seems directly opposed to electronic music.
Of course it’s tempting to build up judgements based in your head; if he’s from Detroit he must have techno in his blood, if he’s from UAE then he must be an isolated individual uninfluenced by the music everyone else is making. However in the internet age no man is an island, and Farah’s music definitely belongs to the contemporary zeitgeist existing in between house, techno and dubstep. What shines through when you listen to Body and consider the context is just how little the context matters. Truthfully the hushed, swinging, pestle-and-mortared grooves could come from anywhere in the world, which is arguably indicative of the dissolution of the local as a key cultural influence.
Free of those critical shackles, the album sports an arresting aesthetic, smartly adopting focused rhythms from primal floor tracks but never being dictated by them. “Realised” seems possessed by the spirit of Chicago house, but the original principles of the style get reappropriated with unconventional tools. In this instance it happens to be booming toms that pound out where the usual 808 beats should be.
There’s some stunning diversions away from beats altogether, as on the dissolved dub techno pulse of “Fortune”, which finds Farah crafting an unbelieveable funkiness out of displaced, filtered chords. Indeed dubbyness informs much of his approach, yet he manages to swerve the bland pallor of so much dub techno and creates his own variation on the theme. Treading the same tightrope as Actress in terms of subverting traditions, Darling Farah proves with Body that he has a strong sonic identity that is very much relevant in these times, wherever he comes from.
4. Forget It
8. All Eyes
10. Fortune Part II
11. Telling Me Everything