Touring after the recent release of Labyrinths, a full-length album on his own Magical Properties label, the Los Angeles-based producer Daedelus (real name Alfred Darlington) brought a humble presence to Bristol’s Small Horse as he deployed bass-enriched gems ranging from house to hip-hop using his signature piece of kit; the monome 256 grid.
This is a controller that Daedelus can be seen tinkering with in almost every live performance of his on the Internet. Darlington’s plethora of genres and styles within his performance left audience members unable to predict what was next. To name a few, mixes of Frank Ocean’s soulful ‘Nikes’ (a particular crowd-pleaser) and Rustie’s caffeinated banger ‘Triadzz’ were skilfully included among his own work in order to keep the energy flowing.
Listeners were treated to new earworms from the new record such as the thunderous ‘Minotaur’, featuring razor-sharp lyrics from Zeroh, heavy-hitting title track ‘Labyrinths’ and the sun-soaked slack beat ‘Special Re:Quest’ from his new full-length LP.
A master of his craft, Daedelus is a musician like no other. Classically trained on the double bass and with over 14 different albums under his belt, he continues to produce album after album each bringing a different energy to the table through the blending of live instruments and electronics. For example 2014’s The Light Brigade showcases exquisite guitar and lower strings complimented by the voice of Amir Yaghmai, who can also be heard on ‘Setting Out’ on Labyrinths; a track similar to those on The Light Brigade.
Starting a few minutes early as there is “never enough time”, Daedelus asks “although we all have different lives to lead, let’s just lose ourselves for a moment” before taking audiences on an astounding sonic journey through his labyrinth. Before his performance I had the opportunity to speak to the artist who revealed the details of his contribution to the monumental Madvilliany album,where ‘Accordion’ was an original song by Daedelus. This highlights just how significant he has been in music history.
A photo posted by Alfred Darlington (@daedelus) on Nov 17, 2016 at 1:26am PST
The evening saw the combination of footwork and woozy hip-hop beats to highlight where Daedelus draws inspiration from for his own creations. Daedelus has been influential in the so-called ‘LA Beat scene’, and its output of eclectic jazz and hip-hop affiliated with pioneers such as Flying Lotus, The Gaslamp Killer, Teebs (who can be heard on the new record) and Samiyam; all LA based musicians. He has been making full length albums since as early as 2002, with releases on Flying Lotus’ own Brainfeeder, UK-based Ninja Tune and American label Anticon, underlining the sheer scope of this artist’s creative input to the music world.
Alfred Darlington is an artist who continues to fuse genre-defying music from any current climate whether it is in his own work or in a live performance.