[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Some Of These Numbers Mean Something

I just had the chance to put my headphones on and listen really closely to
Darkroom's newest album, enigmatically called 'Some Of These Numbers Mean

Darkroom (www.darkroomtheband.net), as you all know, are LD members Michael
Bearpark on guitars and loops and Andrew "Os" Ostler on keyboards and
laptop. Guest musician on this album is electric drummer Andrew Booker who
runs the Improvizone concert series in London - Darkroom + Andrew Booker 
Improvizone's backbone and play on most of their gigs, often with guest
musicians (e.g. I had the privilege to play with them last November, see 
livelooping2007 page on my website). Usually, Os controls his own Augustus
Loop plugin to loop not only his synths but also Mike's guitar while 
a clock signal to Andrew for the drums so that he can synchronize his drum
delays, to add further rhythmical complexity. 

btw two weeks ago I was very happy to see Mike Bearpark and Andrew Booker 
part of singer Tim Bowness's band No-Man on the German leg of their
September mini-tour - they did a wonderful job and it was a great evening.

The new Darkroom album ("file under Ambient Stadium Rock") contains nine
improvised pieces. Mike's guitars are generally in the foreground - so much
that the original album title was "place guitar under microscope". What
strikes me every time I listen to Darkroom, and also on this album, is 
specific sound: it is an organic whole - evolving, open, and full of rich
textures while often containing surprising changes. There is never 
soloing - maybe that would stand out too much and is therefore sacrificed
for the sake of a more organic group sound. While Os contributes beautiful,
often cinematic washes of chords, the complex and energetic rhythmic
foundation laid down by Andrew Booker and the various distortion sounds
often applied to Mike's guitars turn the Darkroom sound into something that
often definitely goes beyond mere ambient music. Ambient with teeth, 

My absolute favorite on this one is "No Candy No Can Do" which combines
gorgeous Rhodes arpeggios, Hawaiian guitars and dreamy, unusual dub-like
rhythms - this track is drenched in reverb and reminds me very much of 50's
exotica, not so much because of the sound but because it immedately 
on images of faraway islands in my brain. Wonderful!

Buy this album today from