While on tour in Chicago earlier this year, experimental duo Darkside met up with Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot to record an interview and perform two songs for their Sound Opinions podcast. On Thursday, the Darkside edition of the podcast was uploaded to SoundCloud and videos of Darkside's performances popped up on YouTube. Listen in above (the Darkside portion starts around the nine minute mark), and watch the performances below.
Darkside Perform "Paper Trails" live on Sound Opinions 5/8/2014:
Between performances, Nico Jaar and Dave Harrington of Darkside spoke with DeRogatis and Kot about the genesis of their project, and the making of Psychic, their excellent debut album. Much of this centered around the duo's inability to be categorized by genre, with DeRogatis comparing them to artists as varied as Can, Pink Floyd, Brian Eno, The Orb and Aphex Twin at different points throughout the interview. With Kot's earlier assertion that the duo "takes the genre and pushes it into the future" in mind, Harrington gave a very interesting response. "Genre is a utilitarian thing," he said, believing that music is "most often too esoteric and ephemeral to talk about that way," and saying that Darkside arrived at their sound not by consciously mashing up genres, but by combining its two members' tastes in music.
Jaar continued on this subject, saying that most negative reviews he had seen of Psychic attempted to situate the album within the context of a single genre. Responding to a particular one of these that viewed the LP as a version of Ibiza-style balearic dance music, Jaar said yes, the album's the "worst beach music ever," but it's clear from his tone (not to mention Psychic's darker-than-dark vibe) that a "beach album" is not what he was going for.
Elsewhere, Darkside discuss their "Miles Davis approach" to playing music -- that is, no dictation of parts to musicians, jam-based composition, and "a more minimal approach to what each musician is gonna do." Both members refer to their sound as a "happy accident," and Harrington says, "There's something exciting about not knowing what you're doing." Darkside are truly as unique as electronic music comes these days, and this interview does a great job of parsing out the reasons why that is.
The duo also share a funny story about an early jam / writing session at Berlin's Michelberger Hotel, during which they blew a fuse and their equipment was literally smoking. The power in their room went out, so they went into the hallway, finished writing a song and came up with their name, all while The Big Lebowski was playing on a screen in front of them.
Darkside Perform "Freak, Go Home" live on Sound Opinions 5/8/2014:
Visit Darkside's Zumic artist page for more of their music, videos and news.