Sometimes all it takes is finding the right label. Barcelona duo Downliners Sekt had some bad luck in the past, and although Fabrizio Rizzin and Pere Solé have been making electronic music since the start of the millenium, they never got the attention they deserved. Frustrated with the industry and their lack of success, they even started to give away their music for free on their website. Until now, that is, because the Paris InFiné label has taken them in and is doing a fine job promoting their first properly released LP, out next week.
The duo is making “the other dubstep”, which sounds a lot like the original dubstep à la Burial, but has been developed independently, as they claim. One can’t help but seeing connections in broken beats and dark atmosphere though. Thumping bass lines, distorted synths and sampled house vocals dominate the album. In an interview with FACT some years ago, they used two very strong images to describe their music, and they so perfectly fit their style that they are worth repeating. One was that of a train station at the border between France and Spain, where the French ravers traveling back from Barcelona have to wait for the trains to change. The other one was that of a club full of dancers accidentally high on Ketamine instead of Ecstasy: A “sect of ravers trapped in oblivion”, as Downliners Sekt described it.
Silent Ascent is music for the early morning hours in the club – dark, bleak and somehow exhausted. But you can’t help but dance on. The beats are direct and all-pervasive, confused and confusing, familiar and inhumane at the same time. This leads to Silent Ascent feeling random and alien, but inescapable and meaningful nonetheless. Something changes in yourself in the very moment on the dancefloor, when you realize that you don’t belong here, but know that you have nowhere else you’d rather be just now. Maybe the drugs are a good comparison: You are full of sensations, but it never really fulfills you. So, remember to go home at some point! But stay just a bit longer.
Silent Ascent can be streamed over at XLR8R in full until it drops April 7/8th.