Suave French duo — Damon Jee and Darlyn Vlys — unite forces on their debut collaborative EP Kronos on Jennifer Cardini’s cherished and irresistible Correspondant label. Damon Jee is considered a model representative for Dark Disco, offerings fresh with a dash of sentimentality. In 2019, Damon collaborated with Bonnie Spacey and together they founded their label Critical Monday. Since their initiation, Critical Monday has engaged and featured artists such as Curses, Autarkic, and Jennifer Cardini. Darlyn Vlys’ experimental and stylistic approach creates electronic music that grabs attention through sharp productions and cinematic moods. He has proven his place with releases on labels like My Favorite Robot, Critical Monday and Get Physical. The uncanny balance of the artists joins through their diverse influences to present a thoroughly symphonic release.
Kicking off the EP with Kronos (Wild Mix) – Damon Jee and Darlyn Vlys wind in a dynamic, Techno influenced track; quaintly designed for powerful peak-time moments in a sweaty basement. Next, pumping drums and spacey sirens combine with cowbells. The cosmic vocals build up the track until it reaches its climax and descends into a dark momentum. Howling horns and steam engines resound, stirring a wild rush, and announcing the final moments of a psychedelic and industrial breakdown.
Sustaining the previous track’s power, the Chaman Mix stirs a lighter and tighter version of Kronos. It sheds the vocals and cowbells, compensating with a mid-track build-up, where a thriller-esque note tip-toes about. Once released, the bassy energy swallows a galvanic combination of trippy high accents.
Up next, Antiheroe enters into an echoing forest filled with mystical vocals and beat-keeping foot stomps. Highs and lows mellifluously blend throughout this track. Melodic techno and euphoric synths smooth over crisp claps. The psychedelic post-punk-influenced track creates an immersing tension, that to electrify the room.
Hippie Dance bossman, Rebolledo, leads a seductive rework of Antiheroe, by revealing slinky bass strums with escalating emotion. Pairing with the groovy bass line and brush synths, the snare drums set the stage; thus, then the classic Rebolledo riff lets loose. Closed-eyelids provoke a concise and strong detailed version of his vibrant galaxy.
Created by Damon Jee and Darlyn Vlys Thrills is — as the track title suggests — a truly “thrilling” one. Initially, the metallic rhythm rivets, but is shortly accompanied by a pumping beat and an echoing female vocalist. The igniting vocals moderately evade the cloud high snaps and thunder a collision with a lows’ magnetic lightning. The break itself reenacts a thunderstorm and exposes itself as the drum machine chases the female song.
Beginning with a high-frequency tone, the Thrills – Club Tularosa Remix shines a light on the original version and its dancey mood. Retro game sounds tunnel while whistles entice a classic drum. Surrounded by a catchy melody and a clashing bass line, the track is rich in detail, containing a variety of soundscapes put together. Club Tularosa prickles goosebumps and a feeling of freedom. Sticking to the dark vibe of the EP, it is nothing less than open-air feelings captured in the darkness.
Harmony is inevitable in Damon Jee’s and Darlyn Vlys’ collaboration and demonstrates their ideology within the EP. All six tracks blend splendidly, as the cohesiveness resonates in an echoing coalesce, and interplay all psychedelic elements. Electronic and live instrumentations chime glowingly along with the remixes and recognizing their origin gives an exciting new interpretation of tracks. Thus, listeners retreat into their cosmos (quarantine) and build synth sweeps and refreshing bass lines into an elegant and pulsing wave.
Damon Jee’s & Darlyn Vlys’ Kronos was released on Correspondant on April 3, 2020.
Review by Elisa Herbst