dark passenger_ is an unequivocal master of modern electronic music. This much we know already, simply by running through his catalog. All of which is particularly interesting, considering that producer Lewis Mander aka dark passenger_, has spent the majority of his music career, playing the guitar. His latest single release, ‘designed for objection’, is comprised of mesmerizing electronica that is both pleasingly complex and emotionally stirring. The producer strikes a balance that was previously less obvious, and which results in one of the most rewarding releases in his entire catalog of works.
Right off the cuff, and in general, I would not describe dark passenger_’s work as easily accessible to the casual listener. Intrinsically, he is a music creator, and not a mainstream chart chaser. All of which means that you will get as much satisfaction out of his work, as you put commitment into listening to it. There is a strong sense of rhythm and menacing atmosphere throughout ‘designed for objection’, which, combined with the haunting and shadowy synthesizer pads, often provide a quite striking contrast to the schizophrenic beat arrangement.
Blending all the bombastic elements with the looming, spectral sonic aura, allows the arrangement to carry a surprising amount of emotional depth. ‘designed for objection’ is a curious track, inhabited by dynamic rhythms, and at times thundering drum effects, yet somehow dark passenger_ pulls it off, to make the piece sound balanced and appealing to most. It’s both shapeshifting and rather wonderful, which is essentially dark passenger_’s aesthetic described in a nutshell. Lewis Mander does what he wants, largely on his own terms.
‘designed for objection’ clashes, rumbles and shimmers to induce a multiplicity of moods, while evoking a sense of power. It sounds confident in a way that totally grounds everything you hear. The atmospheric backdrop of the record is dark and immersive, and that creates an ideal foil for dark passenger_’s more abrasive and experimental qualities. The song’s runtime also lends itself perfectly to the punchiness of the delivery and the intensity of its more biting turns. It is a proud statement, delivered with vigor and flair.
The single progresses in stages, initially starting with atmospheric electronica, and then bursting with energy and character, before delving into the deep, dark depths of its own soul, as dark passenger_ takes us further into the depths of this fractured, harsh, yet sublimely captivating electronic soundscape. This ever-surprising and dynamically evolving ethos extends right across the track. Hence, ‘designed for objection’ certainly evokes a visceral emotional response, and there’s something to be said for that alone.
Whilst it’s not for the faint-hearted, ‘designed for objection’ is a well-focused release from one of electronic music’s most interesting underground artists, and it’s well worth exploring. In this masterful display of dark passenger_’s acute attention to detail, you get a sense for the enthusiasm and creativity he appears to infuse into his work. dark passenger_ is both a technical and compositional master, which makes his music more intriguingly challenging than a majority of his peers.
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