From South London to Soho, New York, dubstep superstars Darkstar made their New York City debut last at the intimate Le Poisson Rouge and as I currently write this review, my body is still vibrating from being immersed in a room of sub-bass. In a room less than half full of those curious to hear what this trio of haunting beat creators sound like in concert, for those there, it was something special.
It may have been 100 degrees outside but Darkstar showed up in winter coats, it may have been 11pm and they looked like they just rolled out of bed, it may have been a Monday night but the crowd was ready to dance and that they did. The magic of dubstep is how hypnotic it is and how controlling it can have over the audience’s attention. The music's thick groves and seductive hooks can be as emotional, moody and sexy as some call it “end of the night” music. Yet, with whatever adjectives one wants to label dubstep, Darkstar were showing why they have been one of the most talked about bands in the genre.
With the release of their stellar debut, North last year via Hyperdub records, Darkstar stimulated the sounds of their presentation by breaking down what the crowd has heard on disc and altering the sounds and songs right on stage. With a sound system as perfect as that at LPR, Darkstar’s music became just that much more tangible and alive. With magnificent covers of Radiohead’s “Videotape” and Human League’s “Gold,” it only enhanced what was already a top showcase. With the small audience captivated by what they were doing on stage, Darkstar’s light shined as bright as it could, it will be until next time to see if a buzz from this gig will generate a larger audience.