Next Monday sees Sheffield’s Darkstorm release his second album on the Label he co-runs; Bad Taste records. Trellion & Sniff’s ‘North Luna’ got me into Bad Taste last year, and if the first listen I had this morning of ‘Mind Like Water’ is anything to go by; his crisp, unpredictable productions are going to be what keeps me checking back there regularly.
Every track has it’s own distinct vibe, within a whole coherent sound. Eerie space harmonies and electronic flurries cascade over the album; making even the more relaxed trip hop numbers still sound like they’re being played at you through a cloud of smoke leaving the top of an industrial chimney. The hooks he’s sampled subtly interweave into the thick, futuristic sound, a sound that’s progressive whilst retaining an unapologetic humanity.
Every rap track is rawer than walking on a skinned heel, they slap you outta nowhere after the melancholic airy numbers that surround them, every MC is spitting with such a level of urgency or honesty; you’d think they’d been told they were to be led to a firing squad as soon as they finished laying their vocals.
He manages to tread a line that evokes the grey, industrial urbanity of british cityscapes, while injecting every morose note with an optimism and lightheartedness present on the cover artwork. The sounds shift from rugged to tranquil with a quickness that keeps you on your toes, and makes for a highly interesting listen. ‘Bittersweet’ is smooth and rough simultaneously, ‘Swamp shuffle’ sounds like crunk trap beats and minimal future garage smacking the shit out’ve each other in a bin; and the title track is stinkingly funky.There are so many highlights it’s redundant me going any further.
An hour ago I didn’t know who Darkstorm was, now I’m kinda wishing i had a tape deck to buy a physical copy of this next week.
Check the video for ‘Road Trips’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6qXdF04iV0, Listen to samples, and buy the album on limited cassette or digital download here: http://badtaste.bandcamp.com/album/mind-like-water