Next Hype

Interview: Dark Sky

If leaving punters with sore feet for days was a sport, London’s Dark Sky would currently stand at 2-0 up against our fair city. Both previous visits have seen frenzied crowds whipped along a musical merry-go-round comprising garage, dubstep, house, techno, grime and back around again, plus the trio’s own fantastically dynamic and intriguing beats. We fired some questions in the direction of Carlo, ahead of his visit representing the trio at Origin NYE, and he was kind enough to answer them.

You’re spending New Year’s Eve here in Perth at what is set to be an epic party – Origin. What’s been your most memorable NYE experience to date?

Definitely playing Trouble Vision vs. Deadly Rhythm at Corsica studios a couple of years ago. The lineup was amazing and the crowd were even better.

We’ve previously witnessed killer sets here in Perth, from Carlo on your first Australian tour, then from Matt. Who’s coming out this time? What have you got in store for us?

It will be me (Carlo). It’s going to be a DJ set and I’m looking towards playing an eclectic set with a few new bits from us and a wide variety of tracks you might not expect us to play. I think our sound has changed quite a lot since our first tour and I’m looking forward to showcasing it.

Being a three piece act, how does everything go down when you’re producing? Do you all get together in the studio or do you work on things independently?

Every track varies but generally one of us will start off an idea and then we will all finish it together. As we all have different backgrounds in music it helps keep the variation in our production and stops things getting stale.

Do you feel that being a group, rather than an individual producer, has certain advantages? Does it broaden your influences?

Definitely, we all have different tastes in music that overlap at times. I think it’s these differences that give us our sound.

You guys met when you were studying audio engineering. Is producing music as Dark Sky a full time thing for you guys, or do you have other “day jobs” where you apply your knowledge of sound to other uses?

It’s mostly a full time thing, we have done a bit of freelance lecturing at a college before but Dark sky is so hands on at the moment there isn’t that much spare time for anything else.

You’ve developed your sound quite a bit since your debut EP, Something 2 Lose. Your most recent offering, Black Rainbows, is brilliantly diverse and thoughtful. Where do you see your sound heading in the future? Do you think you’ll continue to experiment with different styles and ideas?

We haven’t tried to be any one thing or direct ourselves down a certain path. Our style is varied, but that’s because it’s always been a case of writing what we are feeling and not worrying about which “genre” it fits into.

You guys have remixed some pretty big names in The XX and Kelis. Did you have much personal involvement with these artists? Which other artists would you love to give the remix treatment to?

We know The XX now but at the time of the remix we hadn’t met, and the Kelis remix came from her record label so we didn’t have any contact with her. I would love to remix someone like J Dilla but the originals are so good it would feel like sacrilege to mess with them.

You’ve previously mentioned Giles Peterson as a major influence on your music. Is there anything non-music related which drives your ideas or inspires you? Perhaps certain places, films, issues etc.?

It’s more of a culmination of things putting you into a place where you feel inspired to write, which can be anything from a good night out to getting a new piece of equipment.

You do a radio show on NTS. Aside from playing quality tunes for the pleasure of your audience, is there anything specific you try and achieve with the show?

We always try to keep everything eclectic and introduce our listeners to music that we love weather it’s new or old. It also gives us a platform to debut new material that we are working on.

Where has been your favorite place to play? Where do you think is really ‘happening’ at the moment in terms of an electronic music scene?

Playing at Berghain in Berlin for the first time was amazing; it really lived up to its reputation. We are also lucky enough to get regular slots playing at Corsica Studios in London, which is always a pleasure to play. I think both cities have a very healthy music scene.

You’ve got releases forthcoming on Naked Naked, as well as an album in the works. Can we expect to hear a bunch of unreleased goodness come NYE?

Definitely, we’ve got a lot of releases coming up over the next 4-5 months that push in new directions for us. It’s always exciting to play an unreleased track to a new crowd for the first time.

Interview by Thomas Phillips