A Review of Nostalgix’s Confident and Self-Assured ‘Star City EP’
February 16, 2024
February 16, 2024
London based producers Nick Harriman and Alfie Granger-Howell are Dusky, a name that has become instantly synonymous with UK house and techno. If 2011 was the year Dusky marked themselves out as accomplished electronic musicians with their critically acclaimed “Stick By This” LP, then 2012 was the year that Dusky took over the dancefloor and cemented their position at the forefront of the house music underground.
Signed by the label that broke Maya Jane Coles (Dogmatik), the devastating deep grooves of “Flo Jam” were hammered by everyone from Jamie Jones, Sasha and Pete Tong to Disclosure, Joy Orbison and Boddika and even commercial acts like Calvin Harris; earning itself the unexpected title of iTunes Dance Single Of The Year.
At the same time, darker excursions into warehouse techno like “Calling Me” and “Muriel” on Loefah’s new School imprint have been hammered by names as diverse as Paul Woolford, Diplo, Skream, Seth Troxler and Agoria. As remixers, Dusky have asserted themselves as one of the most on-point reworkers in the game with a Pete Tong and Annie Mac endorsed mix of Hot Chip’s “Night & Day”, Cloud 9’s ’93 house classic “Do You Want Me Baby” and their ubiquitous rework of Justin Martin’s “Don’t Go”.
The eclectic, well honed outlook is the result of absorbing two decades of global dance music, digging back beyond and a shared production career that has spanned nearly 10 years and seem them produce everything from classic progressive to liquid drum & bass together under various guises. Sift through Nick and Alfie’s personal record collections and you will find everything from Polish orchestral music and Ahmad Jamal’s soulful jazz, to Justin Martin’s “Sad Piano” and Daft Punk’s formative French house, with stacks of vintage garage and drum & bass 12″s propping the whole mix up.
Naturally shifting through the full spectrum of house and techno – with strains of their formative garage and d&b influence, Dusky’s diverse take on the modern dancefloor was summed up best by their shortlisted contribution to BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix – which joined the dots between jungle legends PFM, the vintage techno of Reese Project and the classic garage of MJ Cole by way of modern innovators such as Huxley, Joy Orbison and Omar S.
With releases on Will Saul’s Aus and Breach’s Naked Naked getting heavy support on Radio 1, Dusky’s 2013 is set to be their biggest yet.