I caught Darkside last week at Coachella and it made me feel like a ancient Bedouin watching a comet streak past. Some freakish slip n’ slide of divinity. That sounds overwrought in daylight or via LED screen, but there’s something futile in searching for the proper vocabulary or a scientific debunking. Sometimes delusion is preferable. Writing about music you’re actively encouraged to avoid all the cliches that spring readily to mind when you witness something like that. You wonder whether if it’s the drugs. And of course, it’s the drugs. But it’s never entirely the drugs. The chemicals can focus the frame; they can’t paint the portrait.
I have listened to the Darkside live set, recorded in fairly solid audio, roughly a half dozen times. I just finished listening to it and I am now pressing play once more. It is 12:39 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon ten days later. The effects are long attenuated and I am permanently tired and trying to tell you what went on in my head when I was trying to clear every cobweb out of it. When you treat music like religion, dogma is your party favor. Objectivity is encouraged. Skepticism gets you clicks. Sincerity is the enemy of cool. Here we are in 2014 and I’m writing a blog post to try to explain what magic feels like. Being knocked off-kilter doesn’t compute.