On listening to Nicolas Jaar's new bluesy electronica project with his guitarist Dave Harrington, Darkside, it's rather too easy to forget that he's just 21. This is seriously ambitious music, with the emphasis on serious. There's no flim flam or shilly shallying. Just look at those song titles for starters—"A1," "A2," "A3." Jaar and Harrington save the creativity for the music itself, it seems.
Released on Jaar's own Clown & Sunset imprint, all three tracks are hewn from the same nugget of precious metal. "A1" sounds like cosmic disco slowed down to 33rpm; Harrington's loping, arpeggiated guitar work is the setting over which is draped scurrying synths and modernist classical flourishes. To top it off, Jaar doubles up his vocals, overlaying an emotive baritone with a brittle falsetto. That same falsetto and moody fretwork appears again on "A2"; it has a Doors-y bluesiness and some of those minimalist Chilean tendencies, although it's a little too close in feel to the opener for comfort. The EP is rounded off by the dubby "A3," which moseys into town like some modern spaghetti western soundtrack, all grumbling, resonant guitar and distant echo.
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Tracklist: Darkside - Darkside EP 01. A1