- Dusky's releases often oscillate between music you'd hear at a big club and music you'd hear in an Uber on a Saturday night in London. This is especially true of their two most recent releases. Outer—the album they put out last year through their label, 17 Steps, and the major label Polydor—indulged their pop instincts and featured guest appearances from Wiley and Gary Numan. The Cold Heart EP is a return to servicing cavernous dance floors. Where the album's mainstream angle came with hits and misses, Cold Heart finds Nick Harriman and Alfie Granger-Howell doing what they're best at.
These four tracks aim to make a splash, and they mostly succeed. "Balfour Betty" is the least effective—it climaxes with a synth that seems inspired by B.B.E.'s 1996 trance hit "Seven Days And One Week" and doesn't quite nail its attempt at an inverted drop. "Cold Heart" is maybe the most effective. It's underpinned by a deliciously simple bassline that's periodically swamped by a euphoric pad sound that would light up a club. "Psychic Life Coach" works along similar lines but is tonally brighter and has a garage-y swing in its step. Like "Balfour Betty," "Bowed" has trance in its veins. There's a polished arpeggio, a string-driven breakdown and even some snare rolls to get the ice cannon firing. If you tend to play to less than 300 people, then maybe give Cold Heart a miss. But for a certain breed of big-room DJ, this EP should do the job nicely.
A1 Cold Heart
A2 Psychic Life Coach
B2 Balfour Betty