Darkstar DarkstarGold (John Roberts Remix)
HYPERDUB (HDB043, 12” + digital)
The idea of a 12” with remixes was tempting for Darkstar, especially with the possibilities offered by “North”, the London trio’s polemic debut album. Or maybe we should say divisive rather than polemic, as the critics seem to be divided into two camps which don’t appear to be getting any closer. There are those who see it as a starting point from dubstep towards another reality –more or less what Burial did with his first album– and those who hear nothing more than regressive and anaemic sounds. It’s not my intention to convince anyone of anything –I’m one of the “North” enthusiasts–, although I have to say that “Gold”, as a release aimed at the DJs, is quite poor. It’s the same format as used for “Aidy’s Girl Is A Computer” –the original and the remix–, but in that case “Aidy’s…” was an unreleased tune, unlike “Gold”. It’s on the album, has been released previously as a video, and has already has been available for streaming on the net for a while. The Human League cover is still singular, but it’s not surprising anymore nor does it motivate anyone to go out and buy it. However, the B-side is great and makes the purchase of the single worthwhile. As on the previous 12”, a techno producer is in charge of re-rubbing the original, and the choice for John Roberts is spot on. If we agree on “North” not being a dubstep record but a different take on pop, the idea of a techno producer who takes great care of the melodies and textures is a very logical one. And Roberts delivers: he follows the tradition of the snowbound house of the Hamburg school –Lawrence-Efdemin-Pantha Du Prince– and adorns the track with fragile notes and bubbles in a remix that is, pardon my wordplay, a treasure. With a bit more content, it would have been a crushing 12”.