Release Date – December 31, 2019
Label Name – Woodwork Recordings
Release Track list:
1. Cloak and Dagger
2. Dope Haus Theme
3. Difficult Thing (with Decibel Point)
4. What Do You Mean?
5. Foolish Boy
Woodwork proudly presents ‘Dark Arps – Operations!’… This latest offering from Vancouver’s Jon Bierman, further reveals the extent of creativity, depth and versatility that he has become recognised for. With previous releases on Tribal Pulse, East Van Digital, Nuevadark, Major League, and Steamtown, in addition to numerous past works & collaborations and other self-released projects, Dark Arps continues to progress as an adventurous producer and dynamic live performer.
‘Operations!’ is collection of bold, progressive tracks that fully explore Bierman’s exciting range of leftfield sounds and styles. From the word go, Dark Arps commands attention with ‘Cloak And Dagger’, an onslaught of cranked rhythms and glitchy percussion set against bizarre, modulated electric piano synth chords over tense bass lines…a melodic monster that unravels in mysterious ways.
‘Dope Haus Theme’ takes a similar stance in its percussion sound and style, while the bass and synths express a little more aggression, sure to stir some wild movement on the floor. Short and sweet, we get straight to the point here, immediately experiencing Bierman”s knack for folding and wrapping elements around each other.
‘Difficult Thing’ is a tech house collaboration with Decibel Point, who proudly reps Vancouver’s SHAHdjs collective. Though more typically known for more menacing flavours of drum n’ bass, here he teams up with Dark Arps for a stunning and uplifting four-on-the-floor number. Somehow this piece manages a nocturnal, brooding feel with a yearning sense of beauty.
Already having covered a lot of ground in three concise bits of music, ‘Dark Arps – Operations!’ refuses to relent. ‘What Do You Mean?’ takes both mood and bounce factor to eleven. The chord progressions that swirl, spin and wind their way around this fantastic triplet-based beat are only one essential element. It’s the big, round voice in the low mids, a chunky melodic bass jam that pokes through, driving with forward motion while sucked in reverse, that completes this unique groove.
The precipice of the EP has to be the gut-wrenching “Foolish Boy’, built first on a classic, steady house bass line… lush sounds are on point with sweet synth leads setting an intimate, nostalgic vibe… then without warning the whole thing sweeps over a sparkling waterfall of city lights into a space funk odyssey… best just to give in and let this one take you away…
Dark Arps tightly wraps this collection with ‘Reveries’, an intense dose of his darker, more progressive and cinematic side. With everything else on offer here, this completes the full picture of a fearless, inventive producer who has no intentions of binding his work to limits of genre or anticipated forms. The adventurous energy behind this release is in precise alignment with the spirit of Woodwork Recordings, further expanding our boundaries and defying expectations…
” Operations! Is a brisk jaunt through a typically Dark Arps brand of synth-heavy melodic tech-house jams. These tunes are linked by a common thread, each one making judicial use of one of a number of wonderfully quirky mini-synth machines: the Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator, hence the album’s title and artwork (also modelled and rendered by myself). Additionally, there’s an air of intrigue in the melodic content of these compositions, conjuring subversive textures and tones, yet countered throughout by a triumphant optimism. It aims to be boldly melodic, with structure, story and theme, driven of course by pounding groove-heavy drums, percussion and basslines, rooted as always in the spirit of 90’s dance music.”