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Midnight Black Indulgence


This is the second full-length release from Canadian transplant to Berlin, Frivolous (Daniel Gardner). Frivolous is a protagonist of the minimal house scene who has released more than ten EPs. Midnight Black Indulgence marks a watershed in Gardner's career. For the first time, influences and inspirations are clearly discernible. Moments of pure dance ecstasy are followed by string interludes or appear next to jazz ballads. The connections Frivolous makes are of a convincing, almost compelling logic, and derive from his many years in the mid-'90s, peddling the new European minimalist sound as a club DJ in Vancouver. Struggling for acceptance amongst a Canadian scene obsessed with U.S. house music, Gardner sent his demos to five renowned German labels, and three of them wanted to release his music straightaway. The advanced minimal sound he has bestowed upon electronic dance music has a new, sophisticated body and generates a feeling for song structure within the house and techno format. At the same time, his understanding of melody and voice does not stem from a threadbare and shop-worn view on '80s pop music (as so often is the case), but from jazz. In his music, jazz and "jazziness" do not work as tacky, transfigured quotations but as snapshots full of character; impressions of feelings materialized as sound. Says Daniel: "For me jazz means a looseness and a feeling that can only be created by humans. It is the anti-machine. Even if it is sampled, it is usually for the quality of a magical moment that can't be graphed with 0-127 on time-code.." And although the tracks on Midnight Black Indulgence never pompously serve as a display for his musical prowess, there is something risky and luxurious about them. The dense and emotional thread which he weaves throughout the album was developed from baroque music, and alongside techno and dance experiments, he also stunningly incorporates classic instruments and vocals into an environment built on experiments with glitchy cut-up funk and found sound.