Darkling Universe – Julian Shah-Tayler (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

That Julian Shah-Taylor can be found moonlighting in bands paying tribute to musical pioneers who really pushed the sonic and generic boundaries – namely Bowie, Depeche Mode and The Cure – tells you a lot about the music that he makes under his own name too, also labelled The Singularity. And his latest, Darkling Universe is the perfect reflection of this great taste and his adventurous talent.

The label that he often associates his music with, “30th Century Electronic Rock’n’Roll,” sums things up perfectly, a futuristic blend of analogue instrumentation and digital dreams, rock and roll rendered into the sound of what is to come, electronica turned into a dark, dangerous and delicious force to be reckoned with.

Darkling Universe is both bombastic and graceful, able to hold its own in rock realms and shot through with electronic motifs, cascading keys and boisterous electro-metal beats. It is energetic to the point of euphoric, groovesome to the point of being infectious and compelling enough to blow a hole in all of those cliched rock and roll arguments about synths and the digital world not being up to the job.

If you ever wondered what it would sound like if dance music and rock and rollicked a fight with each other, realised that they had too much mutual respect for each other and so retired to the bar to cement the start of a glorious new relationship…this is it!

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