DARK GLOBE

DARK GLOBE

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Some things happen for a reason. What may initially seem like a setback can actually turn out to be a leap forward, as Dark Globe know all too well...Back in 2003, a demo o... read more
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Biography

Some things happen for a reason. What may initially seem like a setback can actually turn out to be a leap forward, as Dark Globe know all too well…Back in 2003, a demo of the sledgehammer number that is ‘Break My World’ caught the ear of Island Records’ top dog who, on the strength of those unmistakable strings, signed them to the major league. A balmy headline slot on Pete Tong’s live-from-Miami WMC show in early 2004, simultaneous top-spot hoggings of the Cool Cuts and Buzz Charts and hot Ibizan nights followed. However, big isn’t always better, and the boys were soon to discover that teeny-bopper pop-rockers held more sway at the label than their underground cred. An amicable split followed in the summer of 2005, along with a determination to keep things simple next time around. There’s no stopping the Globe’s flow though, despite this hiccup the music was coming thick and fast. New vocalist Silja, of Nouvelle Vague fame, as well as collaborations with Television’s Tom Verlaine and old accomplice Boy George, delivered a breath of fresh air and it became clear they needed a suitable outlet for their re-energised musical vision.Global Underground, with its history of dance music pioneers, was an obvious first choice and quickly snapped the boys up a happy beginning all round. Getting straight down to business, this summer will see the “moody brooding” (Music Week) ‘Break My World’ with new mixes for 2006 plus Dark Globe’s long-awaited album proper ‘Nostalgia For The Future’, on which you’re just as likely to hear infectious guitar riffs, a widescreen melodic sensibility and dirty beats following in the tradition of English electronic duos from the Pet Shop boys to Basement Jaxx. With the album and a live tour planned for early September, things are just starting to get interestingbut first a little history.The Dark Globe story began somewhere in the early 90s – in a musical climate where the baggy scene was swinging its collective flares and crusty rock was dying a deserved painful death – when Pete Diggens, drummer in psych punk band Electric Sex Circus, decided enough was enough. Touring with the likes of Blur and giving the Manic Street Preachers an early support slot (“seeing them in their make up lugging equipment about was hilarious,” he laughs) was no longer musically fulfilling. Meanwhile, over in the North Kent suburbs, childhood friend and future fellow Glober Matt Frost had started producing and releasing electro records. Reuniting through a love of noise, sampling and Public Enemy, the two formed the musical partnership that we know today. “Public Enemy’s message was cool but the thing that we both connected over was Terminator X’s industrial funk,” recalls Matt. “Everyone else was into Stone Roses and Soup Dragons and we’d be trying to be North Kent’s answer to The Bomb Squad. Big, loud, Hank Shocklee noise: industrial, violent and aggressive.” “I remember clearing the floor at loads of parties with the tracks we were making,” adds Pete, “we were just getting adrenaline rushes from making noise until we realised that you’ve got to form it into something and get some melody thing going.” Under various guises (Some Other People/ Crowbar/ The Deep) for various labels (Matt’s Infinite Mass, Violent Drum) the pair made critically acclaimed, arse-quaking, speaker shattering, body moving experimental dance music. “Even the record shops would ring us up to say that they didn’t know what to do and where to put them,” laughs Matt. Eventually the boys’ adventures in sound caught the attention of the burgeoning UK dance scene’s godfathers Leftfield and in 1994 signed to their label Hard Hands. But three years and five EPs later their musical ambition had once again put them at odds with their peers. “By the end of the Hard Hands days we were doing stuff that was too big for the label and they didn’t know what to do with it,” Matt explains. “They were like ’that’s a pop record’. We were gutted because that’s where we wanted to go. We wanted to do more than service DJs, we were getting too song-based rather than a sampled refrain like a Moby record.” Bored of house music the pair hooked up with breaks label Whole Nine Yards and inflicted serious damage to the nation’s dancefloors culminating in the Boy George vocalled ‘Auto Erotic’ and the story-so-far compilation ‘Tales of Dirt and Sparks’. Inspired by “the ability of American R&B producers to make electronic music sound human” the pair spent time refining their formula for making perfect digital pop. Or as Dark Globe put it “epic pop made by twisted little fuckers”. Pete’s love of melodies and Matt’s love of grooves is the essence of Dark Globe’s digital pop vision. As a classically trained guitarist and trombonist, Pete’s influences span English composer Vaughn Williams, Brian Wilson and legendary romantic Scott Walker. Matt’s childhood in Nigeria, meanwhile, has inspired a love of African drumming and he points to DJ Premier, hip hop grooves and Police drummer Stuart Copeland as key influences. Along the way, their filthy breakbeat funk has soundtracked ‘Lara Croft: The Cradle of Life’, theyve delivered inspired remixies for the likes of Orbital and Two Lone Swordsmen and if you profess to know your dance music history then you’ll know that Dark Globe are responsible for making the first ever breakbeat record, ‘Mondo Scurro’. Either way, there’s little doubt that Dark Globe are hard-to-categorise electronic music pioneers and, right now, we’ve never needed them more…