It’s been virtually impossible to avoid the hype surrounding the Darknet EP release. Justin Hartinger and Levitate (real name Connor Campbell) are experiencing stratospheric career growth, thanks both to polished, daring production and the glowing support of the bustling Q Nightclub hype machine. If you’re a fan of dance music in the Northwest you’ve known this day is coming, and at 11am today it finally arrived.
We’ll jump the gun and just let you know up front—the EP lives up to expectations. If you consider yourself a fan of post-brostep bass music, the atmospheric nature of Darknet will suit you. Sound design is crunchy and wide, and there are enough sampler-cut snippets to satisfy the most ardent glitch fans. In short, Darknet is the album you hear tearing down the midnight highway fast enough for the street lights to blur.
Equally interesting is the fractured nature of the EP’s development. According to Seattle Weekly, the album was created almost entirely through “digital exchanges.” While throwing project files back and forth across a city or country may not work for every type of music, in the case of Darknet it seems to suit the jittery nature of the production.
The result, somehow, is surefooted and focused, keeping its absurd number of sounds in check…if just barely. Darknet is constantly teetering on the edge of “too much,” and that tension becomes much of its appeal. While 3 tracks is not enough to guarantee the formula could span an entire LP, what is clear is that the two producers’ styles have melded into something special.
Given the anticipation surrounding the release of the Darknet EP, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it take off quickly. It’s technically challenging, musically interesting, and held up by foundational bedrock beats that continue to be engaging over multiple listens. If you enjoy the EP, don’t forget to follow Justin and Levitate on Soundcloud, and attend the Darknet Launch Party at Q!