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Reviewed: Dusky’s ‘Joy’ filled album lands on their 17 Steps imprint

Five years on from their last album ‘Outer’ Dusky return with their third studio album and first on 17 Steps.

Reviewed: Dusky’s ‘Joy’ filled album lands on their 17 Steps imprint

London based duo Dusky came to prominence during the UK’s deep house boom back in 2011. The duo has since gone on to establish themselves as leading purveyors in the house and techno scene. Renowned for moving fearlessly through a diverse range of sounds ranging from ambient to hardcore, Detroit techno, progressive house, jazz and anything in between or surrounding the electronic musical spheres. 

This is the duo’s third studio album, five years since their last. The duo moves away from the moodier darker atmospheric tones experienced on ‘Outer’. This offering is a much needed ‘Joy’ filled album. The perfect response after a challenging 18-months – clearly expressing a massive desire to be out on sweaty dance floors immersed in dance music.

Opening track ‘Soundcheck’ is a track oozing love and warmth. With its fluttering synth work combined with proggy drum patterns topped off with an ecstasy filled vocal cut laced throughout. 

‘Hildegaard’ is the first single off of the album, a galactic journey built around an infectious yet melancholic synth hook, rising basslines, cowbell patterns and a siren-like vocal wailing.

Next up is ‘E-Dawn’ is a wonderful nod to 90’s rave music with smatterings of hardcore, jungle techno and garagey goodness throughout. Centred around a Doc Scott drum sample, cut-up vocals, rounded off in the final third with some jubilant acid house piano keys. There is only one outcome a euphoria filled rave anthem.

‘Wave’ is centred around breakbeat drum patterns combined with ambient swirling pads, classic house plucked bass and a catchy organ coming in, later on, paying homage to the classic house era of yesteryear.

‘Eros’ is a proper UK Garage number from Dusky, underpinned by one of their trademark chunky basslines combined with a euphoria filled vocal interspersed throughout the track, rounded off with sumptuous stabs.

‘Invisible’ takes us back into breakbeat territory, a bouncy energy throughout, vocal cuts, some funky Nintendo style video game piano keys and bleeps adding extra flavour to this original number.

‘Take Me High’ from the off imposes dark and raw energy ready to do as it suggests. The combination of warm pads, raw and rising synth builds, bleepy synth keys builds the atmosphere and tension throughout. 

‘Fields’ has shades of breaks meets Prodigy with its breakbeat drum patterns and dark acid sounds from the off. The track moves from a dark acid tone into a euphoria filled sound fused with gated pads and back out into the darker sounds, to bring a beautiful contrast between the light and the dark.

‘Lift’ ventures into speed garage territory with dark looming staccato basslines featuring chops and sliced sample strings. A heavy number set to send the dancefloor into raptures.

‘Local Newspaper’ draws on breakbeat and acid house influences with liberating Italo house piano keys and a bumping bassline, capturing the essence of early ’90s warehouse raves perfectly.

‘Supply Systems’ starts in a rip-roaring fashion with a thumping bassline and futuristic synth work, with nostalgia-filled vocal cuts joining the fray before a hoover lead jumps into action underpinned by the chunky 909 percussions throughout.

‘Pharaoh’ kicks off with hauntingly emotive synth strings blended with raw live cut breakbeats, a drone and long decay to the bass, capped off by an operatic vocal style subtly placed throughout, finishing off with an orchestral breakdown.

‘Silver’ rounds off the album with ambient flavour, a nice contrast in energy comprising of pads and strings, beautifully bringing the album to a close.

Dusky’s ‘Joy’ is out now on 17 Steps.

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