Darkroom: Gravity’s Dirty Work

Enveloping, darkly ambient electronics from improv-based duo.

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Drawing from experience with No-Man, Henry Fool, Bass Communion and numerous improvisational live projects over the last 17 odd years, Darkroom are a safe, stylish pair of hands in the avant-electronica department.

And in case that doesn’t sound cerebral enough, guitar/pedal/loop/bass man Michael Bearpark has even squeezed in a chemistry research fellowship at Imperial College. But abandon any fears of inaccessibility – Gravity’s Dirty Work is fabulously pensive and experimental, but invitingly so.

Strung With Black Nylon opens on a clean, crisp and creepy note, paving the way for minimal but potent guitar surges, propelled by electronics that judder and swerve you into a mysterious, ambient trance. There’s something strangely stimulating about being deeply relaxed and slightly unnerved at the same time. The cool, spooky tones of Baby Armageddon and Memorianova conjure a ‘haunted lighthouse’ feel.

And for all the wires involved this retains an organic heart — with ominously pulsating, percussive basslines and upbeat samples providing a kind of tribal electronica beat. It all makes for a totally transportive and progressive mind clearer of an album.

Polly Glass
Features Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is features editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine (opens in new tab) and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.