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Darling Black - Dial (Ilegalia Records)

2 July 2024

The dancefloor and the batcave were always a lot closer and more connected than many would have you believe. As soon as those disillusioned ex-punks began to rewire broken keyboards to their will and found ways of making loops and samples and all manner of strange electronic music, the gap between the realm of the goth and their fellow denizens of the night, the dance floor divas and alt-disco kids, narrowed to almost nothing. And in that space, where that almost nothing existed between the two worlds, there was to be found a blend of music that became known as Darkwave. “Dial”, the latest one from Darling Black, is nothing if not the modern torchbearer and sonic archivist for such a sound.

Using equal parts nostalgic alternative clubland sounds and cutting-edge sonics, “Dial” is an evocative blend of nostalgia and forward-thinking, a reminder of what has gone before and the creation of the next chapter of its story.

Electronic waves shimmer across the dancefloor, rhythmic and alien, skittering beats ticking and tocking robotically. The grooves are cool and clinical yet mesmerising and inviting, and the vocals act as the humanising factor, breathing organic energy into this mechanical music machine.

The ironic thing about “Dial” is that even though, to some degree, it harks back at a sound from the early post-punk days, not just those electro-gothic pioneers but bands such as Daniel Miller’s extraordinary adventures as The Normal, as well as the bands that were influenced by that scene, such as Ladytron, Darling Black sounds like nothing less than the sound of the future. How clever is that?



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