When I told DARKSIDE (Nicolas Jaar & Dave Harrington) over the phone that I thought new album Psychic sounded like traditional rock, they were rather amused (and bemused, I suspect). And whilst, it is true that their improvisational performance style was somewhat experimental, it was not difficult to hear the echoes of Pink Floyd (Harrington did a fair Gilmour impression) and other psychedelic space-rock acolytes in the duo’s well-received set at the Ground Theatre *SCAPE on Sunday, 6th April.
Their penchant for improvisation made it that more difficult to identify the songs (I believe 5 or 6 in all) they performed that night. After all, they were taking liberties with the recorded material introducing riffs and rhythms that were spontaneous rather than slavishly reproduced the album. Even the SHAZAM app did not help at all and my guess is that songs like “Golden Arrow”, “Freak Go Home”, “The Only Shrine I’ve Seen” and “Paper Trails”.
In the final analysis, it didn’t matter – although it was ballsy for the duo to play dirge-like passages for the longest time, it made the release of the danceable rhythms that more eagerly embraced! In many ways, DARKSIDE were indulging in their own version of jazz-fusion experiments (why else play Miles Davis’ “Pharaoh’s Dance” during the pre-show festivities?) but updated for contemporary audiences.
So put simply – great light show, great music, passable sound (par for the course) – something different for our avid concert goers here.
This review made possible by Forefront Asia.