Published Jul 12, 2016In 2014, shortly after the release of Darkside's ambient and darkly groovy record Psychic, guitarist Dave Harrington booked three days in a studio to improvise with some of his especially talented friends. The results of those sessions were then tweaked and edited electronically by Harrington over the following two years, resulting in this year's Become Alive.
Dave Harrington's group stay in the realm of cinematic mood-scapes and atmospheres for the most part, despite some of their free-jazz inclinations. This restraint has its merits: Harrington's editing gives the album a more mature pacing, and helps rein in what might've been a much jammier record. However, in doing so he also scrubbed out a lot of raw looseness that could have livened it up a bit more. Artem Aisagaliev's ten-minute short promotional film for album opener "White Heat" is more engaging than the seven-minute album cut of the same song. The album does pick up towards the end: the jammy free-improv of "Become Alive" lets it all hang out, while upbeat closer "All I Can Do" is rooted by the catchiest riff on the whole album.
Next time, hopefully Harrington can avoid the cautious over-production and let his natural talents shine even brighter. (Other People)