Since their debut »Psychic« eight years ago, seven albums followed – just not as Darkside. Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington did not remain idle in the break, continued to work alone or were active for other artists as producers. They understood Darkside from the beginning as their band for the common jam. And for that the mood must be right. Their now released second album »Spiral« shows: Mood fit when Jaar and Harrington retreated to a small house in New Jersey three years ago. With »Narrow Road« the record starts almost sacral, the sound first opens a wide area before a beat grounds the number. This is accompanied by a voice with lots of reverb and plenty of effects that make for a comforting, uncomfortable feeling. Songs like »I’m the Echo« are more accessible there, but ultimately »Spiral« as an album continues to work off Darkside’s familiar approach. It’s psychedelic, electronic, confusing, irritating and wonderful. When in the title track the guitar with its melody remains the only clue in this haunting atmosphere, it’s a very specific sound between empty club and deepest forest. The most haunting effect, the essence of this approach is found in »Inside Is Out There«, which sounds like a pleasant song for »Kid A« that Radiohead never wrote. In terms of sound, this is so far removed from anything current, so much its own thing, that »Spiral« should be assured of its place on the year’s best lists for that reason alone. In the end, it’s all about these songs engaging their listeners. The trip may not shimmer in the brightest colors anymore compared to the debut. And a dry groove like once in »Paper Trails« is completely absent on »Spiral«. But instead, this album massages the soul where other music nowadays can’t even reach at all.