on 10 April 2014
Optimo's 'Dark Was the Night' is a difficult mix to review. I didn't enjoy the set much on first listen, but persisted with it and listened to it a few times through over the next week or so, as sometimes you need a few listens to get into a set. Since february though I've not felt any urge to revisit this mix, which I think is a tell-tale sign that it's simply not for me.
The problem isn't that its a set of dark tunes; I'm a regular listener to Chris Liebing's CLR podcast so dark electronic music is up my street. The problem is that this mix is too often dreary and alienating. It's kind of a cross between electronica-turned-grunge and eighties style dark wave, which isn't what you'd necessarily expect from an act who've released a Fabric Mix. In particular, QX1's 'I won't hurt you' is just plain creepy, and the last few tracks of the set are really poor, with Angel Corpus Christi's irritating 'Dream Baby Dream' closing things off with the title of the track repeated over and over and over.
The highlight of the set is Inigo Kennedy's superb 'Cathedrals', which offers a rare glimpse of melody, and the way Kode 9 & the Spaceape's "Sine of the Dub' is used in the set is quite striking. The set is also very well mixed, piecing 21 tracks into the set and none of the transitions feel rushed.
Overall though this mix disappointed in it's track selection, and hasn't felt worth the purchase for me.