Careful, you might need to buy a good pair of gloves to pick up this CD without your fingers splitting apart like a rubber ball placed in liquid nitrogen. We’re talking dance music forged in the embrace of the cold mercilessness of outer space: that’s what this overwhelming debut from one of the producers who has raised the most eyebrows in recent months has to offer us. Although he grew up in Dubai, Darling Farah has always carried Detroit antibodies in his blood. He wasn’t born in the Motor City in vain; he breathed its putrid air when he filled his lungs for the first time, his skin soaked up the electronic ash given off into the atmosphere by Juan Atkins and other 4x4 fire starters. But where the mentors put in soul, the disciple has used ice—in the form of ice cubes. And with a mastery that is uncommon in a twenty-year-old, he builds a castle of techno with a Gothic outline and frozen hallways, which also manages to achieve a depth that is rare in these electronic wastelands.
He has a gift for leaving his mark. There are people who don’t need to learn to have style. It’s in their genes. And Darling Farah’s are made to breathe creativity into a scene that many always rush to write off as stagnant. Reclaiming the best of the Necronomicon written by the hordes of Chain Reaction, the bloke makes his way into the darkness with only his bare hands, handling arctic atmospheres, bass from beyond the grave and dub armament with lethal skill. What he does in “Bruised”, for example, is a real dirty trick; how to take the bass, mop up the post-dubstep tar with a piece of bread and from there take out a mutant, deformed concept that makes you wonder what the hell you were just listening to. It’s enough to drive you crazy.
The best techno is made like this, with the soul at sub-zero temperature. After gaining experience in lesser formats, Farah takes a leap in quality with a debut LP that is as sharp as a scalpel polished in Atlantis. Misty atmospheres, Spartan minimalism and the implacable tam-tam of “Curse” freeze your blood. The deep-sea dub - with spectral pitch from the school of Mika Vainio - of “Fortune” makes you feel miserable and alone. Farah’s fascinating 4x4 universe is summarised in the telluric, Druidic techno, handled at absolute zero of “Body”. In the microscopic glitches, echoes of the cemetery and naked polyrhythms of “North”. In the drums, the white noise, and the devilish sub-bass of “Realised”. This is an album to restore your faith.