After the unrestrained fun of the Daniel Wang and Darshan Jesrani gig, it was on to the other end of Sydney Festival's electronic music spectrum: Darkside, Nicolas Jaar's project with guitarist Dave Harrington, at Spiegeltent. Darkside's music lies somewhere near the intersection of blues, Balearic and the sort of stripped-down electronica that graces the more outré spaces at Sonar By Day. They have just one EP to their name, on Jaar's Clown & Sunset imprint, and their show was basically a jam session extending the themes of that ten-inch, along with material that seemed sufficiently coherent for future releases. Starting in the realm of ambient guitar fuzz soundscapes, Jaar and Harrington soon threw down plenty of sub-bass as they slowly teased in "A2" from their EP. They then spent the 75 minutes using a deftly-timed sequence of peaks and troughs to gradually build to a climactic release of "A1."
Occasionally a summery feel threatened to emerge, whether in the form of cosmic synths or Detroit-inspired melodies, but it was always immediately pulled back into a gloom full of feedback, hisses and crackles. Jaar's singing, whether distorted or allowed free rein, added to the heads-down tenor of the night. Yet the precision of Darkside's show, the measured power of their set construction, meant they were able to bring the audience out of its tired passivity until there was not just dancing but hollering in appreciation.