Sep 2013 17

Darkened - Designer ViolenceDarkened
Category: Electronic
Album: Designer Violence
Stars: 4
Blurb: Integrating more of a downtempo rhythm to match his now tamed industrial glitch design, Darkened forays into the dystopian mind to find that it is much more euphonious than expected.


With all of the genres of music that exist and evoke creativity nowadays, it goes without saying that it’s not always a guarantee for an artist to succeed after deviating from the original path to assimilate new elements or completely transform the known sound. However, sometimes one comes along and just nails it. Designer Violence has an array of range – tribal beats, caustic industrial flows, escaping remnants of dubstep and trip-hop – creating an immersive post-apocalyptic soundscape that inspires introspection. “The Black Room” immediately sets the tone with a sorrowful cello, sinister militaristic clashes, and apprehensive dubstep that briefly slinks through. The creaky progression and impending droid barrage in “Night Vision” possesses the more nostalgic, heavy pulses of the set that renders the scope of aggression. There’s a sense of transcendence after the chaos, most prevalent in “Blood Tokens” with its optimistic, Die Form-like chants juxtaposed by the urgency of obscure apparatus clatter. Other tracks like the reposed “Last Stand” and “Coins to Continue” convey a sense of self-actualization, indicative of Darkened being comfortable embracing this new sound.

Although fans of Flipside will most likely appreciate this local Washington DC dubstep artist’s more controlled electronic exploit, it’s definitely not the same intentionally idiosyncratic, dubstep-ridden experiment it once was. What Darkened has created here is an elegant, absorbing, reflection-after-the-dust-has-settled audio journey that makes even the most stoic robots feel something.
Track list:

  1. The Black Room
  2. Night Vision
  3. Blood Tokens
  4. This is the Dead Land
  5. Last Stand
  6. Designer Violence
  7. The Culling
  8. LFO Sickness
  9. Coins to Continue
  10. Sentinel Night

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Octofoil Records
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Purchase at:
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Zachary Locke

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