Although the music still fits best within the blurry, ever-changing world of instrumental grime, his approach to sampling, melody, texture and composition set him apart from his contemporaries. In short, he’s an artist operating firmly in his own space.
‘Solace’ itself, a five track ode to a multitude of themes - beauty, heartbreak, love, anguish - is a gorgeous introduction to his producer mindset. Melodies shimmer, pitched-up vocals glisten and 808 licks add power and bite in a shiny, picture-book world of an EP. The dreamy, thugged-out heartache on lush opener ‘Abrasion’ is a nod to tracks like the cult ‘Sweet Boy Pose, while the thinly-veiled bounce and playful melodies on ‘Fuchsia’ are attune to richer, more measured sound design - the sort that could comfortably provide a foil for the next generation of US rappers.
The markedly robust ‘Spiral’ sees Dark0 make a fleeting return to his grime-centric roots with gritty kicks and razor sharp claps offset by a succession of sweet, swirling melodies in a marriage of rough and smooth, while the stunning, buoyant calm of ‘The Past’ draws Solace to a close in a fitting, self-reflective mood. There is also room for US rap producer starlet Suicideyear to turn a dark, sorcerous hand to ‘Abrasion’, reversing the melodies and flipping the bassline to prove just how fluid and multi-contextual Dark0’s sound really is.