“North”  (Hyperdub)


The debut album by UK trio Darkstar sees them breaking away from dubstep and moving instead towards electronic pop tinged with a rather touching melancholy.

Biography : Darkstar may have their roots in London’s dubstep scene, but it is clear from North, their debut album, that they have no intention of confining themselves to this style – hence, for example, the recruitment of singer James Buttery for the vocal tracks that make up more than half the album. His clear voice, lightly treated and chopped up through the use of various effects, brings a touch of humanity to atmospheres that tend towards the chilly while remaining melancholy rather than downright dark. Buttery’s vocals are the unifying thread running through a fairly diverse range of soundscapes. Also to be found at the heart of the album is the maxi-single that first brought the trio to the fore, “Aidy’s Girl is A Computer”. Whilst following a very different route from that of their contemporaries Mount Kimbie, Darkstar are another group breaking away from the framework of dubstep, with their sights set on a hybrid of electronic pop and electronica. And although some might accuse them of presenting deep-frozen emotion, or of resorting to the same tricks all through the album, they’ve certainly managed to take the dubstep community by surprise with North, an album that embodies a quite engaging urban melancholy.

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