Thursday, October 24, 2013
DARREN SYLVESTER - OFF BY HEART (Chapter, 2013)
This new Darren Sylvester album is just so Darren Sylvestery, in that particular Darren Sylverster way. In all his various art practices, Darren seems to have a hangup about recreating things, usually strange pieces of pop culture that have lodged in his brain somehow ( see his bizarre photographic recreation of a scene from the extremely non memorable 2005 film version of the video game "Doom" here ). The things is though, no matter how referential and recreational his work gets, there always a whole heap of Darren Sylvester in there. This album is like that.
The sonic pallete is a perfect approximation of early 80s electonic pop / soft rock (the female backing vocals are just spookily right on), but unlike the arch retro sleaze of Chromeo or even much of the actual early 80s chart pop it sounds like, genuine feeling seems to pours out of each of these songs. And songs they are! With the right gear it's easy enough to make something that sounds like it was recorded in 1983, but Darren somehow has the knack of making these things sound like HITS from 1983. I liked his style on the first album but it never really got it's hooks in me and made me go back to listen again. I listened to this one three times last night and i can't wait to hear it again! I particularly love track 5, "Hurts To Say", where he lets the drum machines take a rest and says it all with strummed guitar, those perfect female female BV's and some perfectly timed melodramatic cymbal splashes. A little drum machine comes in eventually, but it's very tasteful, and very Darren Sylvestery...
It's available on CD, LP and DL from Chapter Music here
or you can get it at local shops or at the album launch at The Kelvin Club on November 8th, where he'll be playing with Fatti Frances and Montero. Great venue, great support acts, great album. Good show, Darren...