Synthesisers but not keyboards, guitar but not guitar: Darkroom’s music begins with improvisation and a distinctive approach to sound design, followed by stop-motion studio post-production and composition.
From a whisper to a scream, by turns beautiful and beautifully ugly, theirs is a very human music that always sounds played not programmed, despite the technology that's essential for producing it.
Darkroom was originally created to provide live film soundtracks, and their debut album Daylight was released in 1998 by the 3rd Stone label. They’ve since released over 10 albums and EPs - available through Bandcamp (darkroomtheband.bandcamp.com) and elsewhere - and have collaborated with labels including Champion Version, Whitelabrecs, Curated Doom and Burning Shed. Their latest album The Noise Is Unrest - over 3 hours of gothic ambiences and glacial sonic abstractions - will be released to coincide with Extreme Chill in September 2019.
Darkroom have created distinctive remixes for artists across multiple genres, and have themselves been remixed by Silver Apples and Bass Communion, among others. Their live performances include festivals in France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and the USA; Eppyfest and Secret Garden Party in the UK with Elif Yalvaç (in collaboration with Wellcome Trust / Guerilla Science); The Seventh Wave supporting Ulrich Schnauss, Blacking Out with Champion version featuring Inna Kovtun, and Sonic Imperfections / Resonance FM. They co-organised the Tuesdays Post series of concerts focussed on Live Progressive Ambient music together with singer / composer Georgina Brett between 2013 and 2016, and were central to the Improvizone concert series curated by drummer Andrew Booker from 2007 to 2012; both creating opportunities to perform and record, and to showcase other musicians and new music to new audiences.
Michael Bearpark: guitars, pedals
Andrew Ostler: modular synthesiser, laptop, bass clarinet
Michael is guitarist for Tim Bowness and No-Man (with Steven Wilson), additionally recording with Peter Chilvers, Richard Barbieri, David Kosten / Faultline, Bernhard Wagner / SONAR, Ghost of Wood, Colin Edwin and many others. He is also a professor at Imperial College London.
Andrew runs music software and hardware company Expert Sleepers (www.expert-sleepers.co.uk), specialising in the integration of computers and analogue - particularly modular - synthesisers. He regularly contributes to experimental music events such as Skronk (London) and Soundscapism (Edinburgh, where he’s now based).
For Extreme Chill, Darkroom will perform as a trio again with Elif Yalvaç (guitar, laptop).
DARKROOM - THE SHADOWY SIDE OF THE HILL