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Lighting up the Dark Sky

Lighting up the Dark Sky Little is known of this ominously-named trio, though I hear they like to work into the dead of night and are fond of bedroom beats. They have been working double time recently to produce finer remixes and more original tracks, their production is now more pristine than it’s ever been. They are currently signed to Modeselektor’s 50Weapons, which suits them as it exists to promote club, rather than radio music and has a healthy range of EPs and single releases from the likes of Cosmin TRG, eLAN and Falty DL.

In the past, the trio have worked with Black Acre, Ninja Tune and Pictures Music giving them a strong, yet experimental base, which has assisted their versatile sound. This year they have been picked-up by Gilles Peterson to do a Worldwide mix, they have released their 140 BPM ‘lunatic funk’ version of Nelly Furtado‘s Promiscuous Gyal on vinyl and in July they released the Radius EP on 50Weapons. This is in amongst their many other accolades, including their regular slot on NTS Radio, London and their most recent remix of Bombay Bicycle Club – turning a moderate track into an dreamy, hazy edit.

Electronic Beats caught-up with Dark Sky‘s Carlo, Matt and Tom to see what they made of all this excitement!

So, where are you lot from?
We’re mainly from south London, Carlo was taken to the countryside when he was young but he’s originally from Croydon.

How did you get together?
Tom: Matt and I went to school together and then I met Carlo studying at Alchemea. In 2007, Matt and I started Boogaloo Crew to get recognised under a name and to play regular nights. Then we started producing as Dark Sky, it started as a separate venture: me, Matt and Carlo but we soon found it became the main thing. We had tunes on MySpace and Fantastic Mr Fox found our material and liked it, he passed us onto Black Acre and in 2009 we released our first track, Something to Lose.

How did you find your way to 50Weapons?
Tom: SBTRKT! He had done a tour with Modeselektor and he passed our stuff onto Gernot and Sebastian.
Carlo: We had plans to do a split 12” with SBTRKT but he got busy with his album and so we had the Radius EP to work on.
Matt: We would still be interesting in doing something with him.

Who else would you like to work with?
Carlo: Yukimi from Little Dragon, I think she has a fantastic voice.
Tom: Caribou. Thom Yorke, he’s on Monkeytown.
Matt: Burial

How would you describe your sound?
All: So diverse
Tom: The 50Weapons EP is more club orientated than our previous work
Matt: I suppose the name Radius explains it, it incorporates many different angles bringing different sounds together.
Carlo: Bass music
Grimestep? (Laughter)
Tom: A BPM’s a better reflection. We produce anywhere from 120 to 140 BPM.

Did you always want to do this?
Carlo: I did some work experience in a recording studio and from then I was pretty much hooked.
Tom: It was a natural progression from Boogaloo Crew, production was part of my course as well!
Matt: As a child I did wonder how electronic sounds were made and as I got older I began to play with things like Fruity Loops.

It’s never been easier to make music, has it?
Matt: It’s harder to stand out in the crowd. We’ve been at this for five years!
Carlo: It’s a good thing – more people to bounce sounds off. You no longer need to have a studio, anyone can make music!
Tom: I think the quality is better and you can be more creative.

What’s your next creative venture?
We are working on another EP, to be released maybe later this year or perhaps early next year. So far, we have only released once with each label, so this will be a nice follow-on with Black Acre. We are going to start work on our live shows soon.

Are you looking to work with other labels?
We like the identities of other labels on the scene.

Such as?
Hessle Audio, Hyperdub, Hemlock and beyond.

If they’re reading…

And finally, what album should we all listen to before we die?
Tom: Ma Fleur by Cinematic Orchestra.
Carlo: Such a tough choice. Let me check my phone!
Matt: Hmmm. Prodigy, Jimi Hendrix. Prodigy, The Experience!
Carlo: I was going to pick Prodigy but I’m gonna go with Massive Attack, Mezzaine

Thanks for your time – good luck with things!

Published October 04, 2011.