The EP kicks off with an icy remix of ‘You Don’t Need a Weatherman’ by some combination of Zomby, Kollaps and Cult Music (they’re all loosely the same person as far as we can tell, but who knows with Zomby?), before two Darkstar remixes – of News from Nowhere‘s lead single ‘Timeaway’ and ‘Hold Me Down’. Although it’s tempting to call these dance remixes – they’re both 4×4, for one – they’re pretty far from the vibe you’d associate with a dark club, instead stretching News from Nowhere‘s airy aesthetic into longer, even slower-burning forms.
With HD7 released through Warp on November 25, and a live show at London’s Corsica Studios set for December 4, FACT caught up with Darkstar’s James Young:
It’s interesting that you’ve remixed the tracks yourself – when I saw you live at Dummy AGM the material from News to Nowhere sounded like you’d expanded and developed it since the album came out. Is this a way of documenting that?
It’s true in our case that the tracks have expanded live but I wouldn’t say this was documenting it. The way we’re set up live enables us to push the recordings to a level where maybe on the record we shown restraint – not that we were thinking that at the time, it’s just how we wanted it to sound. The Dummy thing was odd because the system couldn’t handle what we were giving it so it sounded as if everything was sidechained to the kick. It was all squashed with no dynamic or definition.
Michael Gira from Swans claims that the older the band gets, the more the studio versions of songs feel like sketches for the live shows to develop from – the live shows become the ultimate focus, with the studio material as a starting point. is that something you feel in tune with, or not?
I get what he’s saying, especially with blocks of touring booked in, soundcheck tends to become a rehearsal of sorts and you play about with arrangements and so on, expanding the original idea. In terms of focus I don’t think this album has been toured enough so I couldn’t say. You need block legs to get into that mindset and we haven’t had that. It’s been sporadic so we’ve been doing things in between. You need repetition to hone in.
What’s new in the world of Darkstar? Have you been in the studio much since the album?
We just moved into a room in Konk, north London. Thats been good. We’re recording. I think we’ll have an album out next year. Been Japan a couple of times, those we’e good gigs. Fucked a tour up in America, that was a kick in the teeth. Sonar was a highlight. Got largely ignored by BBC radio but whoever supervises for Football Focus and Match of the Day backed it so that evened out. The usual.
What music’s been doing it for you recently?