Dark Star Safari is a quartet of Jan Bang (vocals, samples, piano), Erik Honoré (synths, samples, lyrics), Eivind Aarset (guitar, bass, electronics) and Samuel Rohrer (drums / percussion, synths).
The sessions were instigated by Rohrer at Berlin’s Candy Bomber studios with the assistance of Conny Plank accomplice Ingo Krauss, and were originally intended to be relatively freeform instrumental improvisations; instead, as the reductivist recordings progressed, Bang found himself compelled to add vocals to the tracks, giving the ten tracks on this eponymous album a searching quality that lifts these pieces from interesting sketches to powerful, song-based compositions.
The fragile musings of ‘Resilient Star’, ‘White Rose’ and ‘Faultline’ emerge as highlights, finding Bang delivering his vocals in an almost-whisper that prompts comparisons with David Bowie at his most introspective, while the four-piece lay down a rich, turbulent bed of quiet, but ever-evolving accompaniment.
Bang’s delivery of Honorés cryptic lyrics is given a natural prominence across the album, but divert your attention toward the atmospheric music embedded within pieces like the languid ‘Child Of Folly’ or the faltering synth theatricality of ‘Your Father’s Names’ and what you hear is an understated, restrained complexity that whirs with relentless inventiveness just below the surface.
Dark Star Safari by Dark Star Safari is released by Arjunamusic Records on May 10 2019.
Words: Mat Smith
(c) 2019 Further.