Review: Coming back for that "difficult second album" hurdle, Darkstar clearly went away and drummed up a fresh approach after the attention the got from their debut album "North". Seemingly heading further into indie song-writing dynamics, the range of sounds in use is far more advanced, embracing more organic elements alongside the penchant for warm, fuzzy electronics. There are bold and brash pieces like "Armonica" and "Amplified Ease", but the tendency is towards a twisted kind of folk balladry drenched in head-spinning production. It's a decisive step on, and it's served Darkstar very well indeed.
Review: Four years since their last album British duo Darkstar return to Warp with a new single, Wolf, backed by two strokes of subliminal genius from John Talabot. The single itself presents a resonating nebula of sub-pop, R&B and electro, with metachronous tones evoking feelings of our current day with memories from post dubstep's collapse. With melancholia and shuttering drum machines at play too, Talabot's remixes shape the original's vocals, textures and breaths to fit deep tunneling minimalism for the Euro-heads, with the 'Materia' remix blending harder edged body music with rave and warehouse techno.
Review: Boo yah - the return of Darkstar on London's mythical Warp, and not only dies he come through with the goods, but alongside Empress Of in a titanic battle to the death. It's only a one-track EP, but "Reformer" is enough to satisfy just about any of your needs thanks to its perfectly executed groove - a tight blend drum rolls and reversed melodic patterns - and deeply alluring vocals; in fact, you'll probably be singing along to it in the blink of an eye.
Various - "Magik Four" (continuous DJ mix by DJ Tiesto) - (1:13:43) 136 BPM
Review: These days when you see Tiesto and Magik Muzik on the same sleeve, you know it's going to be something special, and here they dig out the classic Magik Four 'A New Adventure' compilation from the Black Hole vaults. 16 timeless anthems from the golden era of trance, handpicked and mixed by the original superstar DJ on the label he made his name. Featuring amongst others; 'Your Own Acid' by Kai Tracid, Armin 'Communication' and the Cygnus X remix of Art of Trance 'Easter Island'. At just L9.49 it is an essential moment in history that needs to be in your collection.
Review: The Late Night Tales mix series - going strong since way back in 2003 - never ceases to both amaze and please our eardrums when they're in need of a sonic massage. With legendary artists such as Fatboy Slim, Jamiroquai, Groove Armada, MGMT and many others on their roster, you just know it's going to be quality throughout. This time it's up to Domino man Jon Hopkins to give us an outlook onto his own tastes and musical influences. The selection is vast and varied, with everyone from Four Tet to Darkstar and even Peter Broderick featuring within. An incandescent blend of sci-fi electronica, tropical bass nuggets and lighter shades of drone-fuelled house. Quality.