After teasing fans throughout the year with enticing singles like “Sort It Out Sharon” and “Ingrid Is A Hybrid,” Dusky have finally released their long awaited follow up album to 2011’s Stick By This. The UK based electronic duo deliver big on Outer, offering up a diverse collection of eleven tracks that run the gamut from house to techno and everything in between.
Dusky set our expectations for the new effort with a sprawling ambient intro on “All We Ever Needed,” making it clear from the get go that Outer has been designed to be heard as a true album and not just a collection of dancefloor bangers. Up next is “Tiers,” a memorable entry that features somber synth progressions and minimal techno beats. Cuts like “Runny Nose” and “Songs Of Phase” bring the energy with mechanical rhythms and fat basslines, contrasting some of the album’s gentler moments.
Softer tunes like “Marble” and “Spruce” offset the grind of club friendly drum machines, dishing up pristine synth pads and heart tugging vocals over largely percussion free backdrops. “Swansea,” meanwhile, serves as highlight on the record, featuring synthpop legend Gary Numan who brings his signature robotic vocals to the mix. Staccato bass synths and stripped down rhythms broil underneath his voice, as somber ambience brings a dark vibe to the song.
On Outer, Dusky score points for embodying the sort of forward thinking attitude that once defined electronic music. Despite the presence of plenty of kinetic material, the duo place their ambitions outside of dance music alone, a move that elevates the record as a unique work of art as they deliver a series of fresh productions.