Last summer, we featured the ‘Paved With Gold/A City Symphonic’ event, organised by ISYS and NTS at the Tate Tanks. Gathering together a group of artists that included Vondelpark and Slime, the project aimed to trace “a day in the life of London” through a mix of audio soundtrack and live performance.
Another act invited to contribute were Dark Sky, who yesterday posted up their contribution to the project, which was inspired by an afternoon walk round London and constructed entirely out of field recordings made in the city. A sort-of-post-dubstep and sort-of-future-garage act, but not quite resolutely either, Dark Sky have been quietly going from strength to strength for a few years now – with the tribal pounds and hefty electro shuffles of last year’s ‘Black Rainbows’ EP offering their personal best.
Found sound pieces can sometimes come off more as intriguing curiosities – in danger of veering into an area rather stuffy and academic, rather than always offering genuinely engaging listening experiences. What Dark Sky pull off with City Symphonic is to create something rhythmic and directional, while staying true to the concept of a collage of gathered city sound. Interestingly, it seems to call on the city past and present: we hear the familiar calls and cries from London’s multicultural streets, lodged alongside snippets from what sounds like a racing track, appearing like some ghostly version of a now historicised London.
If you’d like to see more of what was featured in the original event, here’s an ISYS video based around the event, with music handled by NTS.