Darkside Psychic

Darkside Psychic
6
This is the debut album from Darkside (a collaboration between American-Chilean producer-du-jour Nicolas Jaar and touring bandmate Dave Harrington), released on Jaar's Other People label, which was born out of the ashes of his now defunct Clown & Sunset imprint. The record starts off with the beat-driven, deep groove of "Golden Arrow," which despite being somewhat marred by an irritatingly jarring, funky guitar line in the track's second half manages to sustain a compelling Jaar groove throughout its 11 minutes. The electronic production is good throughout — what else would you expect from Jaar? — but the guitar often isn't integrated enough into the mix, which finds Jaar sometimes pushing his voice to places it really doesn't want to go. Harrington (having previously performed John Zorn pieces) is clearly a skilled musician, but some of his timbral and tonal choices are questionable, at best. The main riff on "Heart" sounds like a substandard Brit-pop track, while "Paper Trails" opens with naff blues guitar. It's a decent release — the more dance-oriented tracks on the second half, such as "The Only Shrine I've Seen," with its post-punk guitar riff, and "Freak, Go Home," are great — and credit to the duo for pushing the boundaries of what they are doing. However, as with his live shows, Jaar would be better off without those Clapton-esque blues jams. (Other People)