Blue Daisy is the solo project of Kwesi Darko, who writes, produces and performs. His production style is remarkable: for example, the title track moves through smooth background ambience, moodily aggressive hip-hop, woozy string samples and rock cacophony in just four minutes. Darker Than Blue is on R&S.
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I’ve heard one too many samey, constricted records this morning but Camden producer and rapper Kwesi Darko aka Blue Daisy isn’t going to play it safe with this his debut full length. It’s absolutely all over the damn shop and it's hard to predict what will happen next.
One minute he’s crooning like a weeping Dean Blunt over edgy electronics, the next he’s making a remarkable kind of power rock. His delivery most recalls Ghostpoet especially on ‘Alone’ which could easily have come off his ‘Shedding Skin’ opus. Another thing Blue Daisy doesn’t do is hurl all his eggs in the basket of the first few tracks - it’s not an album that you’ll be able to skip through easily on iTunes - as many tracks fiddle about with jazzy noodling before they get going. The title track is quite something - a staccato first verse builds in intensity with distorted drums battling with beautiful cellos. For no reason whatsoever his voice slows down as if you’ve switched it off before re-appearing distorted amongst drill and bass drums and a perhaps ill-advised guitar solo. Utterly manic stiff.
It’s certainly hard work at times, but anyone who misses the days Tricky produced dislocated, guttural music needs to take a listen. ‘Six Days’ in particular sounds like fellow West Country trip-hoppers Portishead. ‘Heroine’ is utterly gruesome whilst Darko gives Sufjan a run for his money in the bleak stakes with a track called ‘We’re All Going to Die’ -- but instead of being soothing and tear-inducing, Darko terrifies, barking out a stream of rhymes that document the grittier side of existence.
You’ll need to invest some time in this to reap its rewards but it’s a bold, ambitious and sometimes incendiary work.
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