Today, Darkstar release the Squid remix of 'Text' on Warp Records. Expanding on the newly issued Civic Jams Remixes release, which included tracks from John Talabot, Parris, Horsepower Productions and Loraine James, Squid’s arresting six-minute meander into drone unfolds in unexpected ways on their first remix for their labelmates.
Squid arrange their remix around the quotidian moments on 'Text'; phones ring out of reach, intermittent sirens sear, the sound of a trolley hinges forward. Digging deep into the original ideas at play, fragments of Aiden’s vocals loop and bleed with the bow of Arthur’s cello, whilst euphoric synths are mixed up with augmented bleats. In their remix, we see the dancefloor reimagined yet again, before it winds down into a noiseless state of rest.
Discussing the intentions behind their take on 'Text', Squid explain:
“We were fired up when Darkstar asked if we wanted to do a remix of their track, our tour had been cancelled and we’d just gone into lockdown so the idea of playing around with stems all day inside felt like the best use of time. The five of us had gone from being together to being suddenly spread out around the UK so we devised a way to send these ideas around and pass them on, kind of like a game of consequences. The result was a collage made using any instruments and tools that we each had available to us.” Darkstar find themselves at once looking homeward and venturing further into their own psychic hinterland with each record. They’ve covered a lot of ground from the introspective expanse of their debut North , to utopian visions of society in News From Nowhere  and the unique dynamics of a pre-Brexit northern England on Foam Island . On their latest offering Civic Jams, home is within reach. Inspired by the intervening years, Darkstar (aka Aiden Whalley and James Young) show how the personal can be political and reveal more of themselves than they’ve ever done before. Imagine emotional realism built from spectral rave echoes, anchored in timeless songs of love and loss in the digital now and you’ve got it.
Darkstar’s idiosyncratic take on electronic pop music has positioned them as key voices within the scene for the best part of two decades. In recent years, Darkstar have worked with the likes of Actress, Wild Beasts and Zomby. They have also released music with Empress Of (XL) and Gaika, collaborating with director Lucy Luscombe and Random Acts for Channel 4, working on ground-breaking live dance performances with choreographer Holly Blakey (Mica Levi) and scoring the Palme d’Or nominated short film Dreamlands.
Darkstar have continued their dedication to collaboration and been commissioned by PRS to create a piece for the New Music Biennial, in a response to the 2017 City of Culture, which was performed at Royal Festival Hall with organist James McVinnie. This collaboration with McVinnie has since continued and saw Darkstar compose a new work for Organ Reframed festival which they performed together with the London Contemporary Orchestra in 2018 at Union Chapel. In 2019 they performed two of their new compositions at Queen Elizabeth Hall for Unclassified Live.
Alongside these, the band has worked with St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, in Minneapolis, Metal Liverpool, Arts Council England and Harthill Community centre to create an installation and performance piece with teens from migrant communities. The final performance, TRACKBED, was performed at the Barbican in London.