Dark Sky – In Brackets EP

mister sat

Departing from some of their harder-edged productions, South London trio Dark Sky arrive on fledgling New York-based imprint Mister Saturday Night with a decidedly deep and emotive 12”.

‘In Brackets’ is arguably the money shot: a moist kick opens it up before giving way to a wonderful build up – a beat-less twirl of strings and synths, both wistful and dramatic – that soon drops into an organic medley of delicate, gently snappy percussion. The twinkling synth-work lays a shimmer of light across the track, but Dark Sky’s signature, an undercurrent of darkness, is buried somewhere in the shifty rhythms and sinister throb of bass.

A nifty little house cut, ‘5AM’ brushes brittle percussion against a squidgy warp of future-retro synth work.

On the flip, ‘Voices’ is doused in a jazzy smokiness, seemingly blithe and downbeat. But it goes on to map an incredibly intricate progression that stretches a choppy vocal across crunchy, curt beats as the whole thing subtly intensifies: the piano keys slowly morph into swelling strings, whilst the vocals, at first upbeat, become increasingly haunting.

The second b-side, ‘Rare Bloom’, sees the trio return to a more familiar Dark Sky staple: moody and murky bass music, bolstered by a stark, industrial clang of percussion.

‘In Brackets’ and ‘Voices’, in particular, not only demonstrate Dark Sky’s versatility, but unveil a painstaking complexity to their sound.

Mister Saturday Night | May | Vinyl only

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