Touching Bass: Dark Sky
Dark Sky have developed a shadowy, earthy sound reminiscent of the London city streets where they now host a NTS radio slot every other week. Their latest release sees them join forces with Ben Westbeech’s house music alter ego, Breach for an EP engulfed in outright two-stepping bounciness. We talked about polar bears, the joys of tax-free busking and grime deviant Trim.
Also, check out the Touching Bass mix series, which continues alongside all features via Mixcloud.
How is it going with your NTS show?
Tom: It’s good discovering music and our influences are changing all the time.
Carlo: I think the radio show’s been a big influence because it forces you to find stuff. You’re constantly searching so it really broadens your horizons.
Matt: Before we didn’t have those two hours to put out music, there was no opportunity. Now we have a reason to search for stuff.
How do you usually divide up production responsibilities?
Carlo: It’s very varied. There’s not usually any kind of set way of working. Whoever’s got the idea gets on the computer and we will just divide it up that way really.
As well as being creatively diverse, your sound has existed with a particularly hard-wearing aesthetic. Where does that come from?
Tom: I think around the time when that track was written, compared to a lot of the other music it does have that hard energy.
Matt: I’m a drummer originally, so a lot of my production is solidly based on rhythm and basic drums. I was busking on the streets with buckets for about four or five years. That shit was tax-free. So I try and take that into the studio. Some of the early Dark Sky stuff came from trying to program those sounds into the music.
How did The Fallout from your new record come into existence?
Matt: Well, there’s a story behind the title. We fell out over it because we started with a completely different element which was gonna be the main bit of the track, but then we stripped it right back to basics. We took everything out and the only thing that stayed through the track was the rimshot. It took a good bit of arguing to get there though.
Carlo, are you still a fan of Trim?
Carlo: Yeah man.
Tom: We’re all big fans of Trim; he has such a cool charisma…
Matt: …and a cool flow. I never got it at the start. When I listened to Roll Deep, I’d hear Trim come on and just be like ‘what is he doing?’ I didn’t get it at all. Then I slowly but surely got it and I think he blows away much of the scene.
When you’re on YouTube what are your guilty pleasure searches?
Carlo: Fail videos, straight up. Just nutty shit like that. It’s got to be done. I’ve had times where I’ve just watched hours of them whilst hungover and it eases it. Coffee and fail videos are all I need on a Sunday morning.
Tom: I like a good studio session with famous people like Jay-Z and others. I’m surprised there’s actually footage of that kind of stuff. The most random modular set-ups to MPC sessions with people like Araabmuzik and Adrian Utley from Portishead going through his synth collection.
Have you seen the video of Kanye mixing down Stronger? He mixes down the kick in 10 different studios or something typically Yeezy-esque.
Tom: Yeah, he couldn’t get it how he wanted it so he went to Timbaland and he hooked him up.
Matt: There’s the one where Busta Rhymes hooks up with Timbaland isn’t there? And he pulls out some random thing on the fly.
Tom: Then there’s polar bears playing with dogs. That’s sick.
Matt: Suggested videos are the one.
So what have you guys gone for on the mix?
Matt: I think it’s all pretty brand new and a couple of new Dark Sky tracks on there. New Midland and Anthony Naples too. It’s quite fast paced…
Tom: Yeah, and also trying to follow the same style as our radio show and DJ sets.
What have you guys got in the pipeline post-Click release?
Matt: The next release is a 12’” on Tectonic and then after that there’s a four track EP. In the mean time we’re just working on the album whilst the other releases come out. We’re just making loads of tracks.
‘The Click/The Fallout’ is out now via Naked Naked and Dark Sky’s NTS Radio show is on every other Thursday from 10pm-12 (GMT). You can listen to the last mix from Rene LaVice on the Touching Bass Mixcloud page.
Download the ‘Touching Bass: Dark Sky’ mix here.Tagged in: Ben Westbeech, Dark Sky
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