Given that context, Imagin is a bizarre debut album. It ignores the prevailing trends of London's club scene, but only to create a record that sounds like a calculated replication of the established Monkeytown and 50 Weapons sound. The widescreen, breakbeat-driven opener is pure Moderat, while "Silent Fall" could easily be Phon.o. The freezing fog atmospheres of "Lucid" and "Nothing Changes" are similarly reminiscent of Moderat II, just as the hi-hats, worming bass and organ stabs of "Vivid" evoke Phon.o's Black Boulder. Cornelia's vocals—half Dillon, half Portishead's Beth Gibbons—are hardly a significant point of differentiation, nor is the soul vibe that unexpected guest vocalist dBridge brings to "Rainkist."
Very little of this is truly bad (the hackneyed closer "Purple Clouds" being one exception), and occasionally Dark Sky flash us a brilliant idea. "Voyages" cleverly morphs from reedy krautrock into a carnival track whose pulsating sub-bass seems to physically move the air in the room. But even that could be a new Modeselektor track, as could the pitch-bending, rhythmically swinging "Manuka." This points to the main problem with Imagin. Where are its challenges or surprises? Where is the sense of Dark Sky as an individual musical entity? Listening to Imagin is like pulling on a old pair of trainers: comfortable, familiar and, ultimately, rather boring.