Darkstar - News From Nowhere - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Darkstar - News From Nowhere

by Hiro Master Rating:6 Release Date:2013-02-04

For an electronic production duo who made their name with moody dancefloor dubs released only on vinyl, Darkstar's latest album News From Nowhere is far more suited to the fainter-hearted. Their debut EP, 'Dead 2 Me'/'Break', released back in 2007, and their first album, 2010's North, showed a clear intent to move away from club music and towards ambient chillout pop - a change in direction which no doubt alienated their original fanbase, and which coincided with the recruitment of vocalist James Buttery, joining original members James Young and Aiden Whalley.

As for News From Nowhere, it is captivating and monotonous in equal measure, but repeat listens work in its favour. Drum combinations have given way to delicately blended instrumentation and digital touches, with Buttery's haunting vocals usually the main driving force. The melodic 'Time Away' chimes with an alluring vitality, and Buttery's wistful vocals are the perfect compliment. The airy 'Light Body Clock Starter' would be an apt soundtrack to an outer-body experience, while one of the most captivating songs is the enigmatic '-', a rousing and emotive tune heightened by Buttery's falsetto, not unlike Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.

'You Don't Need a Weatherman' is the album's most accessible effort, a mellow indie-electronica song with an anthemic quality, but as is also the case with 'Amplified Ease', things tail off into a wistful, whirling abyss when an extra kick is what's needed, and this perhaps goes for the album as a whole. Some will laud Darkstar's bold approach and vision, while others will grow impatient and frustrated at potential heights not reached, and quickly lose interest.

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