21 April 2017
Vinyl 12", Digital, CD
"When the sky turns dark, the world sounds a lot different." (De:Bug)
Dark Sky represent progression. The London duo have never settled for a specific sound nor dwelled in a single niche too long. What’s striking about all their releases is their passionate love for all kinds of electronic music not exclusively dance floor related. This is no different with Othona, the second album from Dark Sky on Monkeytown Records.Across nine tracks Matt Benyayer and Tom Edwards manage to reinvent themselves once more by merging contemporary techno, classic electronica and their roots in British bass music into a touching and thrilling whole.
With releases on Black Acre, 50WEAPONS, Tectonic and Mister Saturday Night, Dark Sky have numerously proved their versatility. There’s the vibrant deep house of In Brackets, the colourful 2step and breakbeat excursions on Black Rainbows and the vocal-laden melancholia of imagin. Othona picks up on the sound of their 2014 debut and tweaks it just in the right spots. Matt and Tom left vocals off altogether and left the intriguing melodies, shapeshifting rhythms and heavy bass do all the dramatic work. This album reveals them as an integral part of the Monkeytown family as well as innovators in their own right.
A large part of Othona is the result of Dark Sky’s touring experience. Years of putting together their live sets encouraged them to focus on hardware instruments and samplers, preferring a more hands-on approach to computer screens. The album is also heavily inspired by photos and field recordings they took of isolated structures within different landscapes. One particular location which caught their attention was Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex, which is based on an ancient Roman fort called "Othona". After visiting the site on numerous occasions they discovered a small self-sustaining community of people living right beside the structure, which had its roots in the aftermath of the Second World War. "Its early pioneers created a movement that sought to pursue reconciliation and understanding between people of different faiths, cultures and nationalities”, Matt and Tom explain. "This notion of harmony between individuals really inspired us".
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