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ARTIST
TITLE
imagin
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
MONKEY 048CD MONKEY 048CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
9/2/2014

The long-awaited debut LP from Dark Sky is not entirely what you might expect from the London trio. After a string of club-focused 12"s, they delve deep to deliver a tender and uplifting offering entitled imagin. To the sworn fan it may come as a surprise, but it will prove to be a pleasant one, as the evolution from the analog metallic sounds that shaped their past discography naturally mature and slide into the sound palette of imagin. Through heavy consumption of music from across the spectrum, the trio's work has refined, and clearly echoes their heritage as kids of the '90s, referencing numerous influences the decade processed -- the album bears traces of funk, post-rock, a thick layer of trip-hop, even Balearic house, bossa nova, disco, '80s pop and ambient. All of it heavily reverberated, stirred and shaken in Dark Sky's musical tumbler. The outcome is captivating. Littered with sophisticated percussion, soft and subtle marimbas fused with sci-fi synths, and tastefully-delivered vocals throughout. Grey Reverend features on the lead single "Silent Fall" to beautiful effect, with an outcome sitting somewhere between James Blake and Moderat. Elsewhere Cornelia (of Portico Quartet fame) delivers Elizabeth Fraser-like vocals on "Nothing Chances," "Vivid" and "Purple Clouds" providing a perfect soundtrack to the late summer. Long-standing Dark Sky fans will also be pleased to hear that there are more club-oriented tracks on there, too. "Odyssey"'s dark, spacey arpeggios and growling bass line reminds us of their seminal electro-roller "Confunktion," but comes delivered complete with euphoric, almost Balearic stabs and straight-stacked 4x4 hi-hats. "Rainkist" is a soul-laced dancefloor ballad featuring vocals from an unlikely source in the form of d-Bridge, with huge crossover potential, and "Manuka" finally brings back the breakbeat with its percussive Far East vibes that evoke Truth Hurts & Rakim's "Addictive," which fittingly sums up this album.