Dark0 – ‘Fate’ EP (Gobstopper)

Dark0 has been making waves this year with his melodic Grime instrumentals. Listening to his latest relese, the ‘Fate’ EP on Mr.Mitch’s Gobstopper label,  demonstrates how Grime is fast progressing in 2014 thanks to a few artists who are less focused on a revival than on pushing the genre forward.

Removing the MC has given artists such as Dark0 the scope to experiment, manipulate and explore the sound broadening its instrumental possibilities and finding its depths. The ‘Fate’ EP has a confident and distinct sound; the melodies heavily influenced by Dark0’s childhood spent playing computer games. “It was an experiment into rerouting the driving force of ‘grime’ tracks from the grit to the melodies”, he reveals.

The video game influence is most prominent in ‘Mako March’ based on the Shinra Corporation from Final Fantasy. Listening to this track on headphones through the city gives you a sense that you have momentarily entered a combative assignment yourself. No slow walkers please! This track is an embodiment of the video game boundaries that Dark0 has set for this project, however appearing midway through the EP it serves itself almost as an intermission. With these boundaries Dark0 creates a journey, each track appearing almost as a different level in a game. But, rest assured, this is not just theme music, the Grime and RnB influences and breadth of sound displayed throughout are far more exciting than that.

Opening track ‘Amethyst’ has a euphoric build up, the sounds rise almost as the image of a video game renders before your eyes, small bites of sound appearing from nowhere; however, when the track drops with deep subs and heavy kicks its clear that this track would send currents through the dance floor of any club in the early hours. ‘Black Rose’ and ‘Evisu’ follow suit with coherence at the core of the EP.

‘Gaia’ includes a female vocal sample and has a more RnB influence that could be likened to the work recently put out by Mssingno. The closing track ‘2 Lips’ doesn’t deviate away from the theme and sends the listener out feeling like they have been on a fantastical journey in a digital world. It could be argued that Dark0 hasn’t showed much diversity from track to track – on the other hand, the EP is confident and consistent, with the producer himself quoted on his aim to keep things stripped back. The tracks are delivered autonomously sounding equally impressive on headphones or at home as on a heavy club sound system. This melody–focused EP successfully exhibits the innovation that new London Grime artists are beginning to display at the moment, and we’re certainly excited to see what happens next….

The ‘Fate’ EP is out now on Gobstopper. Buy it here.

Asia Huddleston

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