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Dusky - Nobody Else

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Artist: Dusky

Album: Nobody Else

Label: Aus Music

Review date: Mar. 26, 2013

London producers Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman kicked off their Dusky collaboration with a full-length, Stick By This, in 2011. With house music as a starting point, their first round of tracks had an affinity for soundtrack drama and doppler swooshing. The album didn’t always justify the running time, but it definitely got something original going. "Resin," for example, honed a three-chord clave riff in mighty clouds of reverb, allowing the occasional flourish of chiming guitar to fit in naturally, like some ancient new wave refugee.

They’ve gotten more straightforward since then. December’s "Calling Me" sticks to a tight, tin can arpeggio. Their new Nobody Else EP on Aus is even more streamlined. All four tracks keep snare hits right up front, keeping the other textures subservient to the neck-bobbing groove.

The title track defines their uncluttered game plan -- cardiac 4/4 and the mantra "nobody else" delivered at the edge of falsetto. The bass is sneaky; it’s warped and falls out of sync, but they’ve shorn off the higher frequencies, preventing it from coming across as brostep intruder alert. That’s not the only dark sound they invert -- both "Atone" and "Dummy" push vocal samples towards orc growls. But like Blawan’s "Why They Hide Their Bodies…," there’s nothing morbid to them. They elicit the feeling of going deeper, heavy doors that open up to well-lit ballrooms.

"Atone" does the most to spit out mixed messages, starting with distant screams and building with a Knight Rider rave-up, neither of which hint at the body of the song. It’s all melisma clips ricocheting off steel-drum calypso after the intro. Yet, it holds together, ’cause like everything here, really gritty snare claps lead the way. Dusky have a clear vision right now. Best snap to attention.

By Ben Donnelly

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