Dark Was the Night

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J.D. Twitch and J.G. Wilkes' first commercial Optimo mix (as a duo) since 2010's Fabric 52, Dark Was the Night -- much like 2005's Psyche Out -- sports an indicative title. This is another shrewdly selected and paced set of experimental and mostly electronic music that provides instant stimulation. It's thrillingly stormy and/or shadowy throughout, featuring exceptional 2013 techno from the likes of Recondite ("Cleric"), Voigt & Voigt ("Intro Koenig"), and Terrence Dixon (a highlight from the Romulan's Lost at Sea EP). The Glasgow duo reach back for the Holy Ghost Inc.'s "Mad Monks on Zinc" (1991) and the blunt synth pop -- or minimal wave, if you like -- of Jeff & Jane Hudson's "Mystery Chant" (1983), an obscure gem reissued by Dark Entries that could fit onto Trevor Jackson's Metal Dance compilations. Deeper and further back yet, "Psychodalek Nightmares" (1979) comes from Scottish post-punks the Freeze, precursor to the great Cindytalk. Twitch and Wilkes' ears and hands remain matchless.

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