Silicone Soul – Darkroom Dubs Vol.3 – Compiled & Mixed by Silicone Soul

Darkroom dubs 3

“I am beginning to feel this nocturnal existence tell on me. It is destroying my nerve. I start at my own shadow and am full of all sorts of horrible imaginings…” This quote from Bram Stoker’s Dracula adorns all releases on Darkroom Dubs. The PR for their latest release, ‘Darkroom Dubs Vol.3’, compiled and mixed by Silicon Soul, says this quote “personifies” (did they mean “demonstrates”?) “the label’s elevation above normal dance music concerns”. That’s a bold statement.

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with bold statements, of course. They can bestow a lofty refinement, or signpost some kind of radical intent; mentally-prepare the audience for the ground-breaking Thing they’re about to hear. But they can also make whoever said them look very silly indeed if the Thing they refer to turns out to be tedious, tame, run-of-the-mill tech-house. And that’s exactly what’s happened here. This is totally “normal dance music”. Nothing intrinsically wrong with that either, but they promised us “elevated” dance music.

The compilation kicks-off with about one-and-a-half minutes of ~spooky~ FX and another famous quote, this time fromThe Flight of the Phoenix: “a man only needs…love…hope…if you can’t give him that, then just give him something to do”. Why include this? Is it addressed to listeners — but only the male ones? Or does it belie some deeper introspection? Are Silicone Soul saying, “listeners, you won’t love what follows, nor will it give you hope, but we justhad to do something”? Tantalisingly obscure reasoning.

Frisvold & Lindbaek’s remix of Of Norway’s ‘Blot Ditt Lam’ then follows—a by-the-numbers, dubbed-out, “dark” deep house filler track. A Robag Wruhme remix comes next, which has some interesting percussion but little else to recommend it. Other lowlights include the Kellerkind remix of Soukie & Winish’s ‘Flatmate Ghost’, a pseudo-Kompakt number with some nonsensical lyrics and cheap-sounding FX; Los Suruba’s version of AFFKT’s ‘Fail Fast’, which does exactly what it says on the tin; and closer ‘Alive From the Opium Den’ by Silicone Soul themselves, a track with some interesting samples and percussion let down by a daft vocal loop (guess what it says).

But it’s not all bad. Malin Pettersen, a Norwegian singer-songwriter, has a great voice, and the Of Norway version of ‘Sacred’ is very pleasant. Luc Ringeisen’s ‘XYZ’ has a chest-impact kick, a no-nonsense, two-note bass line, and a few interesting “loving”/”feeling” call-responses. Moreover, Silicon Soul have been in the industry for about 15 years; their competence with the technical stuff can’t be faulted. But this is a very disappointing compilation. A lot of people probably put a lot of effort into making this good. They failed, and that’s sad.

This is not “elevated” dance music. This is elevator dance muzak.

By Rob Bates

Darkroom Dubs | Released: January

01. Silicone Soul – One Thing (Ghost FX)
02. Of Norway – Blot Ditt Lam (Frisvold & Lindbaek Remix)
03. Extrawelt – Neuland (Robag Wruhme Rekksmow 001)
04. Soukie & Winish – Flatmate Ghost (Kellerkind Remix)
05. Terje Saether – Sacred Feat. Malin Pettersen (Gregorythme Remix)
06. Terje Saether – Sacred Feat. Malin Pettersen (Of Norway Version)
07. Silicone Soul – Midnite Man (Tim Paris Remix)
08. AFFKT – Fail Fast (Los Suruba Dark Dubby Mix)
09. Danza Macabra – The Woods (Patlac Remix)
10. Luc Ringeisen – XYZ
11. Alex Niggemann & Marc Poppcke – Keep It On
12. Silicone Soul – Smokestak
13. Freska – Honey From Within
14. Silicone Soul – Time Mariner’s Mirrour
15. Silicone Soul – Alive From the Opium Den

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