Darkside (band)

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Darkside performing in Singapore, 2014.jpg
Darkside performing in Singapore in April 2014
Background information
OriginNew York City, New York, U.S.
GenresElectronica,[1] experimental, downtempo, ambient
Years active2011 (2011)–2014 (Hiatus)
LabelsClown & Sunset, Other People, Matador, Modular, Hostess

Darkside (often stylized as DARKSIDE) is the collaboration of electronic musician Nicolas Jaar and Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist Dave Harrington.[2]


Formation and early projects[edit]

Jaar and Harrington first met while they were both students at Brown University. Harrington was recommended to Jaar by frequent collaborator Will Epstein when he was looking for a third musician for his live band, with the three subsequently touring together to support Jaar's 2011 album Space Is Only Noise.[3] Darkside first formed during a Berlin stop on this tour. Jaar and Harrington were writing in their hotel room together when their converter plug popped, filling their room with smoke and forcing them to finish the song in the hallway on a laptop. Upon returning to New York, they continued to write together, developing their sound in their Brooklyn studio.[4]

Their first release as Darkside, the three-song Darkside EP, was released on November 17, 2011 via Clown & Sunset. It was well received critically, receiving positive reviews from several publications including The Fader and Resident Advisor, as well as an 8.0 from Pitchfork.[1][5][6] Jaar has described the project as blues-oriented and more guitar influenced than his previous work, stating in an interview with i-D magazine that Darkside is "the closest thing to rock & roll I've ever done."[7][8] Stereogum has described the duo's sound as "dubbed-out jazzbo junkyard fuzz."[9]

The act debuted their live show in December 2011 to a sold out crowd at Music Hall of Williamsburg, stretching their three-song EP out to an hour long set.[10] They also played at the 2012 SXSW festival.[11] Pitchfork has credited the project with allowing Jaar to transition forward into a "proggier and more narcotic-sounding" space while still maintaining his unique aesthetic, in part due to Harrington's influence.[6][11] The Fader also noted Harrington's contributions, stating that he "adds weight" to Jaar's signature "airy" sound.[5] Darkside released their first music video in May 2012 for "A1", which was directed by Ryan Staake of Pomp&Clout and Clown & Sunset Aesthetics.[12]

The duo released their second collaboration Random Access Memories Memories on June 21, 2013.[13][14][15] The project, which was uploaded to a SoundCloud account under the pseudonym DaftSide, is a remix of Daft Punk's 2013 album Random Access Memories in its entirety.[16] The remix album received positive reviews from critics and was described as "a dark, nearly industrial romp through a disjointed abandoned disco" by Death and Taxes.[17] Pitchfork stated that the release was "a far greater work than standard remix albums" and praised the duo for their ability to balance originality and playfulness: "At times they're looking for nuances in the original, small threads they can pick up and take somewhere else. Elsewhere they're just having fun, acting on instincts, never over-awed by the material."[18] Sasha Frere-Jones listed the project as one of the "Best Albums of 2013" in his annual New Yorker writeup.[19]


Darkside's debut album Psychic was released on October 4, 2013.[20] The album was recorded over the course of two years between Jaar's home in New York City, Harrington's family barn in Upstate New York, and a space in Paris where they would stay between tours.[3] The band announced the album's completion on August 20, 2013, with Jaar and Harrington inviting fans via Facebook and Twitter to listen to the album with them at a small venue on New York's Lower East Side.[21][22] The band had to do two listening sessions to accommodate all of the people who showed up.[23][24]

"Golden Arrow", the album's first song, was made available as a free download on August 23, 2013 via the band's website and Jaar's label Other People.[25] The band originally billed the song as "the first 11 minutes of the DARKSIDE album" in posts, however, its title was revealed in a subsequent Pitchfork review, where the song was also named Best New Track.[26] Spin also gave the track a positive review, describing the song as "11 minutes of instrumental excellence."[27]

On 17 August 2014, the group announced they were "coming to an end, for now" before they were to play their last show on September 12 at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple.[28]



Title Album details Peak chart positions



Psychic 163 6 5 21

Extended plays[edit]

Year Details
  • Released: 17 November 2011
  • Label: Clown & Sunset
  • Format: Download


  • Daft Punk - "Random Access Memories Memories" (2013) (Remixed album as Daftside)
  • St. Vincent - "Digital Witness" (2014)


  1. ^ a b Worthy, Stephen (December 8, 2011). "Reviews: Darkside - Darkside EP". Resident Advisor. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
  2. ^ "Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington are Darkside | Crack Magazine". Crack Magazine. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  3. ^ a b Fitzmaurice, Larry (September 5, 2013). "Update: Nicolas Jaar". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  4. ^ "DARKSIDE". We Like It Indie. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Bravo, Amber (November 18, 2011). "Stream Darkside's New EP". The Fader. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Howe, Brian (December 9, 2011). "Darkside: Darkside EP: Album Review". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  7. ^ Jonze, Tim (February 1, 2012). "34 minutes with … Nicolas Jaar". The Guardian. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  8. ^ McMahon, Milly (November 7, 2011). "Welcome to the Darkside, Nicolas Jaar". i-D. Archived from the original on August 30, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  9. ^ Breihan, Tom (June 21, 2013). "Stream Darkside's Remix Of Random Access Memories". Stereogum. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  10. ^ Stolman, Elissa (December 2, 2011). "Nicolas Jaar, Dave Harrington @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg". CMJ. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Fitzmaurice, Larry (March 18, 2012). "SXSW: Darkside". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  12. ^ Bravo, Amber (May 16, 2012). "Video: Darkside, "A1″". The Fader. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
  13. ^ Hurston, Benjamin (June 21, 2013). "Listen to Nicolas Jaar's Darkside Remix of Daft Punk's Random Access Memories". Paste Magazine. Archived from the original on June 26, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  14. ^ Milton, Jamie (June 21, 2013). "Nicolas Jaar's 'Daftside' Project Remixes Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories'". This Is Fake DIY. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  15. ^ Poppins, Bary (June 22, 2013). "Nicolas Jaar & Dave Harrington Remix Daft Punk's Random Access Memories". Stoney Roads. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  16. ^ Liszewski, Laura (June 21, 2013). "Listen To Nicolas Jaar's Remix Of Entire Daft Punk Album". Mixmag. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  17. ^ Hepburn, Ned (June 21, 2013). "Someone remixed all of Daft Punk's 'Random Access Memories' to sound industrial". Death and Taxes. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  18. ^ Neyland, Nick (June 28, 2013). "Daftside: Random Access Memories Memories". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 1, 2013.
  19. ^ Frere-Jones, Sasha (December 9, 2013). "Best Albums of 2013". New Yorker Magazine. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  20. ^ "Darkside Announce Debut LP 'Psychic'". Modular Recordings. September 4, 2013. Archived from the original on October 22, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  21. ^ Battan, Carrie (August 20, 2011). "Nicolas Jaar's Darkside to Premiere Album in New York Tonight". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved August 21, 2013.
  22. ^ Sy, Tatiana (August 22, 2013). "Nicolas Jaar shows his Darkside in NYC". Pretty Much Amazing. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  23. ^ "Nicolas Jaar's Darkside recorded their debut LP, holding a listening party in NYC tonight". Brooklyn Vegan. August 20, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  24. ^ Milton, Jamie (August 21, 2013). "Nicolar Jaar's Darkside Project Premiere Album In New York". This Is Fake DIY. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  25. ^ Pelly, Liz (August 25, 2013). "Hear 11 Minutes Of Nicolas Jaar's New Darkside Album". Stereogum. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  26. ^ Gaerig, Andrew (August 26, 2013). "Darkside: "Golden Arrow"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  27. ^ Martins, Chris (August 26, 2013). "Nicolas Jaar's Darkside Share 11 Minutes of Instrumental Excellence". Spin. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  28. ^ Facebook, Official (August 17, 2014). "Announcement of hiatus". Facebook. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  29. ^ "Darkside – Chart history: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  30. ^ "Darkside – Chart history: Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  31. ^ "Darkside – Chart history: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  32. ^ "2013 Top 40 Independent Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. October 19, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.

External links[edit]