Though it was over a year ago now that Darkside – aka the project of Chilean beatmaker Nicolas Jaar and UK instrumentalist Dave Harrington – announced that they were taking a break, today Harrington has announced a new project, – including Jaar, and ten other people, yes ten – called The Dave Harrington Group.
With the news comes ‘Become Alive’, the title track from the group’s debut album, out April 15th via Jaar’s imprint Other People. Harrington has spoken at length about the changes to his creative processes, and what he’s setting out to achieve with the record.
“I used to be someone who didn’t really care about recording. I would play house parties, free jazz in art galleries, whatever. All live, all te time… When we started Darkside, that’s when I became really excited about making a record and started seeing recording and working in the studio as a creative outlet. Then, I got really inspired by that specific moment in history when jazz improvisation meets studio technique, the late ‘60s, early ‘70s – and I just wanted to get a bunch of close friends together to play. This record is the result of improvising with different combinations of people, and then processing and re-sculpting those improvisations – isolating passages, turning them into something new, overdubbing layers of myself, maybe taking something from another piece and superimposing it out of its original context. But each track is always me interacting with other people, sometimes just one or two… sometimes ten. There was flute, vibes, organ, Fender Rhodes, guitar, bass, two drummers, percussion, sax… just full-on, over-blown energy. I took all that and treated it as raw material in the mixing stage… but when you have ten people in a room, you can only edit so much. Everything is in every microphone anyway – it’s all connected, so it’s about turning it into whatever it wants to be.”
Once you listen to ‘Become Alive’, what Harrington has said about mixing raw material and sounds bleeding into one another becomes perfectly clear. It’s almost ten minutes of instruments evolving into one another, climaxing at a wall of sound and intensity that really throws you back. It’s so good to have Harrington and Jaar working together again, and we can’t wait for ‘Become Alive’ to throw us back even further on April 15th.
Photo: Chad Kammenshine