Fresh from releasing 2017’s politico-manifesto The Last Days of Dark the mercurial Timothy Dark now releases his four-track EP Dark Day Afternoon.
It’s the 1980s. As Morris Day dreams of The Time, Lovebug Starski espies the Young MC in the house on the hill and Rockwell rocks swell on these hyper-funk-insta-classics.
Opener ‘She Put a Spell on Me’ is a pheromone omen to the rules of attraction viz the schools of distraction. Love is a three-ring circus and the Harlem Barnum, Dark is the ceremonial master. Or is he? Ostensibly, a ditty to that moment of entrancement after the initial whiff of enchantment when the potent potion goes to work on your nerve endings and lurrrve wendings. It relates the story of once the love witch has waved her wand, all bets are off as a her voodoo hoodoo overwhelms. Is he spellbound for Matthew’s gates of heaven or the prelates of hell?
This opus, like the mysterious mage herself, is riddled with electricity, the heart crackles as these unprecedented feelings only signify that this is ‘destiny’. As confusion reigns, her passion rains. Don’t fight it, feel it.
The climax is all Rick James fret moaning and string groaning as the ghost is given up, there’s no way back. Arm in arm, off we go, to the up above or the down below. Dark’s final utterings are ghostly echoes, is he in paradise or purgatory? Is he safe in the arms of the contretemps temptress?
The travails of ‘identity’ in 2018 abound on ‘That look (the skin I’m in)’ – an electro disco-coma waking dream duet with Nellie McKay. Essentially a “Hey, inside we’re all just the same, one heart, two kidneys universalism” – its message both true and poignant. Set to a gothic ambience of melancholy transience, it leaves the listener Orchestral Manoeuvring with the Dark and fearing for tears.
He’s the downtown hunk of uptown funk on ‘Last Days’, a (g)rave celebration of the apocalypse (now); as he toasts the ghost of history you can start a fire and go dancing with the Dark.
Appearances can be receptive on the Prince and the Revolutionary theatrics of ‘Performer’. Dark drolly drills his diction predilection to a thumping humping dubterranean stomp akin to night-shifters The Commodores (of perception). Don’t be afraid of the Dark, let light in and love rule.
To quote Francis Bacon (the ‘Father of empiricism’ not the Soho sketcher): “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present”.
Words: Kemper Boyd