by / March 27th, 2014 /

Darkside – Dublin

I’m not sure about the rest of you out in Planet State but every time an artiste from the electronica genre announces that they’re coming to town but with a DJ show, rather than a live performance, a little part of me dies. Don’t’ get me wrong, I’m not dismissing the merits of watching the wunderkinds hitting the decks and laying down their latest sets and mixes but nothing beats (pardon the pun) watching said artistes constructing, deconstructing and re-constructing their pieces right in front of you.

And, judging by the sea of punters in the rammed to the rafters, Button Factory for Darkside’s sold out show on Tuesday night I’m not the only one who thinks this. Darkside – for those still not in the know – is a collaborative project between minimalist-techno guru de jour Nicholas Jaar and the jazzy bluesy bass player turned fully fledged six-stringer Dave Harrington.

It’s a pairing that you’d be forgiven for thinking makes strange bedfellows. How can two seeming disparate genres of music work well together? But music is music and those that love music and its many faceted beauty know that there’s no such thing as a bad genre. Good music, just like bad, can be made in the name of any genre. To borrow a phrase from our pig skin chasing cousins over the water, form is temporary and class is permanent.

And class is what we were treated to. Where their album, Psychic, is a betimes a study in understatement and restraint. Live, Darkside bring it and tonight they bring it good. Jaar’s electronic bedrock provided foundation for Harrington to lay down some of the sweetest and cleanest licks seen since Pooh Bear last laid his mitts on a jar of honey.

On stage the pair operate on a symbiotic and telepathic level; each complementing the other’s playing and holding back just the right amount to let their partners light shine. On ‘Freak Go Home’ Jaar’s Hammond-esque keys offer solace for Harrington’s blues. During ‘The Only Shrine I’ve Seen’ the pair get locked into a stone-cold groove that threatens to wipe us out when, BOOM, the drop comes in and we’re taken higher.

Darkside have tailored and arranged their set for the more danicer inclined members of the audience. Those expecting a deeper, chilled, chin-stroking kind of affair a lá Psychic may have been surprised by how full on segments of tonight’s show may have been but they could not help but have been caught up in the exuberance and excellence of it all. Special mention has to be given to Children of the Light who provided tonight’s lighting. Laser, mirrors and smoke all used to recreate eclipses, clouds, setting and rising suns. Absolutely stunning stuff indeed, it’d be a shame if this collaboration ends before Darkside return to these shores over the Summer.

Many attending tonight may not have bought a ticket for the event if they had known at the time of purchase that Darkside were going to be playing the Body & Soul festival in June. But I doubt if any of those people regretted parting with their cash after the gig and I imagine that there will be a lot of tickets for everybody’s favourite Solstice gambol shifted on the strength of tonight’s performance.

By the time this show returns to these shores and is delivered, screaming and kicking to those hallowed fields of Ballinlough, it is going to be epic. But I guess if you’re into Psychic, you would’ve known that already.