Darkside Spiral Matador Records
In 2013, Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington performed with The Joshua Light Show, a live art show which originally served as a psychedelic backdrop for the likes of The Doors and The Jimi Hendrix Experience in the 60s and 70s. It was a perfect marriage of kaleidoscopic art and sound, a practice which Darkside have fleshed out further on their new record Spiral, the follow-up to 2013’s Psychic.
Written and recorded in the summer of 2018, Jaar and Harrington worked on a track a day in a rented house in New Jersey, allowing their early jam sessions to inform the finished record. That organic creative process and fluidity is most present in tracks like Inside is Out There, an immersive eight-minute epic that ebbs and flows with ease. A couple of lyrics on the record also reference the absence of direction (The Limit’s “current with no direction” and the title track’s “And if it went into a spiral/ Regardless of direction”), and it’s in this malleable space that Darkside are at their best and most prismatic, for jamming has no ground rules.
There’s a hallucinatory, almost shamanic energy to Spiral, whether on the choral harmonies of opener Narrow Road, the twang of the sitar on I’m The Echo or the chime of the bell in third single Lawmaker. As the world slowly emerges from a strange and difficult time, Lawmaker is a funky, pleasure-seeking trip: “They say how hard it’s been”, sings Jaar, “and how easy it’ll be.”