It took me a few listens to get through the entirety of Darkroom’s latest record, The Noise Is Unrest. Not because it’s not good [we’ll get to that in a sec], but because it’s long. Really long. Nine tracks and over three hours long-long. Before you turn your mind off to the idea [not that it’s bad turning your mind off—Unrest is great for that!] of listening to such a lengthy project, let me assure you that it’s a three hour tour worth taking.
Comprised of duo Michael Bearpark and Andrew Ostler [of Expert Sleepers fame], The Noise Is Unrest is a brooding, slowly moving opus made with synths, guitar, pedals, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet [didn’t know what that was!], and laptop. Sounds move in and out, melody lines cut through, and the expanse of the duo’s sound twists like a hallucinogenic knife through centuries of softened clay. I had no idea how much I liked the clarinet, its haunting, desolate, needful tone floating above the achy din like a freed soul rising past the clouds. Even in the times it’s intentionally dissonant, the beauty that Unrest resonates is only heightened. I admit to skipping over the less dreamy tracks, like "Losing out Precision," mostly because I was put in such a somber, reflective mood by the rest of the album.
Most of Unrest was made from 2013-2016 for a concert series that Darkroom co-organized with singer/composer Georgina Brett, a series I wish I’d been in attendance for.