Hugely dark, broken and emotive music has been hard to come by in the past year, mostly due to the party aesthetics that new producers seem keen to build on (which is not a bad thing, just tiresome sometimes). However, duo Downliners Sekt. have been quietly releasing free EPs and albums on their website over the course of a few years now, and whilst most free albums often get wrongly mislabelled as not good enough to be bought, every single one here deserves to be digested. From the post rock fuzz of debut Saltire Wave the duo have always been difficult to really listen to, but one soon realises that sometimes unfriendly rhythms are the most rewarding. The distorted beats and grooves of their records almost swing at ‘dubstep’ tempo, but they owe more to the post-everything aesthetic of Warp records stalwart Chris Clark.
Those who enjoy the lurching, bass heavy side of dubstep may feel at home here but for those who have ever stayed late at a club, along with heavy eyes and epiphany type moments, will understand the broken rhythms and rising chords complement their ‘late-night music’. Cinematic programming and both sung and sampled vocals play their part well, but only through subtle usage, often coming through only slightly yet totally overshadowing the dread vibes of the beats and bass. The last two releases Hello Lonely, Hold The Nation and We Make Hits, Not The Public explored the popular crucifixion of R&B vocals, but here they sound at one with their landscape. They are perfect places to start and both are available for free on their site: www.downliners-sekt.com. Their adaptation of the dark often comes coupled with rays of light, similar indeed to Burial, but whilst comparisons are always surface level, Downliners Sekt. will almost certainly stay pressurised below it.
Downliners Sekt. – Negative Green
Downliners Sekt. – Dirty Meinz
Downliners Sekt. – Selfish G