Countless times in music history rock musicians have “gone electronic.” However rarely does it happen the other way around. Bucking that trend are electro-minded whiz kid Nicolas Jaar and multi-instrumentalist partner Dave Harrington who as Darkside have created a cosmic rock odyssey of epic proportions with their Psychic debut. But your dad’s rock ’n’ roll this is not.
In fact Jaar and Harrington use the more traditional rock template as only a jumping-off point on Psychic interlacing it with everything from broken R&B vocals blurry techno experiments dimly lit atmospherics and krauty percussive workouts.
Often this results in more structured offerings like the slicked-out blues guitar-loaded “Paper Trails” and “Heart” which strangely evoke a sort of updated Godley & Creme quality minus the humour. But there are plenty of abstract tracks as well such as the echoey epic “The Only Shrine I’ve Seen” which pairs some big four-on-the-floor beats with chorus-treated funk guitars horror synths and clattering beat work and the slow-burning spooker “Greek Light” which ambiently glides by with clicking found sounds chimes and manipulated falsetto vocals.
As a package Psychic brings you to a lot of places. And while they can be familiar at times it’s still a trip well worth taking.