Best Albums of 2013: DARKSIDE
With his partner in cosmic vibes, Nicolas Jaar, Dave Harrington of DARKSIDE has created one of the most textured, enchanting records of the year, which we ranked at number four on our Best Albums of 2013 list. Here, Harrington talks us through how the record came to life.
What brought you and Nicolas Jaar together on this project?
I had been playing in Nico's live band touring in support of [Jaar’s solo record] Space is Only Noise and on a free day towards the end of our first summer playing together, we decided to try and record a song. We were in a hotel room in Berlin and only had a computer and a guitar and some tiny travel speakers with us. We plugged in and jammed, and a couple hours later we had basically finished a song (what would become "A1" off our EP). At this point the speakers exploded because we were using the wrong voltage adaptor and the lights went out and the room filled with smoke and we turned to each other and said, "Darkside."
How would you describe the vibes of Psychic?
We try to make vibes that you can enter and walk around inside of. I like the idea that the record could be a kind of journey: You enter and you're not sure what's going to happen and then sounds and constellations and sparks begin to sweep you along…
Clearly you are masters of some very cosmic jams. Do you believe in psychics? Do you consult them? Dabble in the occult? Collect crystals?
Psychics are really a double-edged sword: On one hand you have to ask yourself, "Is it real?" But at the same time, once you enter that space and someone starts speaking to you about your past, present and future, it becomes a reality. John Zorn made a series of records with Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn, and Joey Baron—a band he called Moonchild Trio—inspired by Aleister Crowley, which were deeply influential for me.
What would you both nominate as the best record of 2013?
I'm really bad at picking favorites. That said, I truly loved the new Thundercat record, Apocalypse; everything he does is pretty amazing. I also really liked the CFCF record Outside and Pond's Hobo Rocket.
What does 2014 have on the cards for you? Will we see another DARKSIDE record?
We're really excited to take the record out on the road and tour. Playing live is one of our favorite things to do, and it's really the other half of what the record is and what it becomes. We're always working on new music but we won't know when it’s ready to share until we know.
Buy DARKSIDE's album Psychic!