Darkside's Dave Harrington Always Keeps Improvisation Paramount
Part humid, steamed electronics, part Krautrock, part jazz and blues, and existing as something that can only come from the minds of Dave Harrington and Nicholas Jaar, their project as Darkside has produced some of the most sonically interesting and distinct music of the past few years.
Nicolas Jaar (left) and Dave Harrington (right) as Darkside
"It all happened gradually and naturally," Dave Harrington says when speaking of the groups origins.
Harrington first met Nico through mutual friend Will Epstein. At the time, Nico was looking to put together a live band a couple years ago to tour after he put out his Space is Only Noise record. "We met in the context of music and me playing in his band and then we started to have these other ideas and one day we made a song. Then, we made a few more, and then we played a show and it just kind of kept growing that way," Harrington says, reflecting back on his beginnings with Jaar.
Before his tenure as one of Jaar's collaborators and as the other half of Darkside, Harrington led a life and had an upbringing that put emphasis on the kind of jazzy improvisation Darkside and Harrington's music is centered on. Growing up, Harrington took lessons on several instruments ranging from piano to bass, and there was always a push in the free-form direction jazz promoted. His teachers were jazz musicians, and jazz was the main form of music that permeated the environment he lived in.
"I grew up in a household where jazz was on all the time, and my dad had an amazing record collection, he had all these original jazz vinyl pressings from the '60s and '70s. That was always something in my world, in my house, in my life," he says.
By the time his adolescence was in its twilight Harrington was already serious about music, and though he went on to study philosophy and film in college, by his own admission even that was studied in hopes it would lead to learning to make better music.