Somnambule - Writing About Music

As One – Out Of The Darkness

Kirk Degiorgio has traced a singular musical odyssey since the early 1990s. Parallel to an almost mandatory interest in the more obscure corners of Detroit techno, he’s explored a love of 70s soul and jazz personified by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Doug Carn and Carlos Garnett. These twin fascinations are exemplified in both his own work and in two compilations which have seen Sun Ra programmed alongside Moodymann, and Herbie Hancock alongside Jimpster. 2001 also saw ‘Offworld – Two Worlds’ in which Degiorgio acted as cut and paste producer to Azimuth, Jamie Odell and others. The result was a fascinatingly futuristic techno/groove, live/programmed hybrid.

Out Of The Darkness is Degiorgio’s seventh release under the As One moniker and it’s the first since 2001’s 21st Century Soul. It’s also his most varied and accessible album by a country mile. To a large extent the overt experimentation of 1997’s Planetary Folklore has been eschewed in favour of uplifting vibes and vocal setpieces. Gone is the clattering, edgy spikiness of Libran Legacy and The Path Of Most Resistance, only to be replaced by the vocals of hiphopper MC Lacks, soulster Paul Randolph and the gospel-tinged tones of Jinadu. Alternating with these tracks are a couple of pretty, beatless reflections (particularly a cover of Herbie Hancock’s Love Theme From The Spook Who Sat By The Door) and most notably some mighty rhythmonsters in the forms of Hope, Shapechange and Leviathan.

For those fans of the more challenging side of Degiorgio’s music prompted to contemplate disappointment by these descriptions of Out Of The Darkness, it should be said that there’s still plenty of experimentation to be discovered beneath its sophisticated surfaces. In particular the driving brokenbeat rhythms and 70s analogue textures are a real pleasure. Using these elements as keys to unlock the doors of this release pays multiple dividends. Out Of The Darkness sits very comfortably at the nexus of techno, hiphop, soul and electronica and will hopefully appeal to fans of all such persuasions.
Colin Buttimer
November 2004
Published by Milkfactory