Not to sound pessimistic, but let’s face it: no one’s going to rush to buy the debut album of a Bath-based electro duo. But what if I tell you that Delmer Darion’s album, All Over Again, All Over Again, is exactly what electro fans should love about debut albums within the genre’s perpetually widening realm? The boys have come up with a tracklist of well composed songs that exhibit an admirable balance between experimentation and consistency.
One of the selling points of this LP is the really interesting infusion of chaos into what is, in essence, a chilled album. The epitome of this is the couple of sample-based songs: When All The World Came Back (the opener) and Beat 54. These two tracks are easy to skip when listening; the piling of crackling, antique samples upon oscillating keyboard notes gets a bit much after a minute or so. Yet songs like these tend to show character in an artist, a desire to convey an actual message through predominantly instrumental music.
Disrobe and Caswell, the two most memorable songs on the album, break from the general mood. There’s an injection of hard-rock in Caswell which resembles a Royal Blood climax atop an obligatory keyboard note in the background. Unlike Caswell’s deviation from the actual genre of the album, Disrobe grabs our attention by switching out of the tranquil vibe set in its intro and precedent, Wolves, into what I’d call – for lack of a better expression – a filthy, filthy beat composed principally of a single bass key.
Beyond the chaotic samples and unexpected bursts of rock and bass influences, we have a set of tracks that really grip the listener with their finesse and delicacy. The only credited collaborator, Emily Burns, joins Delmer Darion on two tracks, Wolves and Paris Street. This vocalist from Rugby fits in very well with the two-piece’s style as her soft voice is complemented by a combination of acoustic guitar on a drifting electro backbeat.
The best of Delmer Darion though, is found in their solo tracks. In my notes I wrote, “air on ecstasy” after listening to what I thought was the most enticing song: Monaco/Korea. This track incorporates chimes and a tribal beat into a generally well put together piece. There are more resemblances to the styles of established artists in the world of electronic music. In Good Morning, I Love You, I couldn’t help but hear an FKA Twigs-like sound, and the composition of Sparrows in the Gutters reminds one of a Tycho track.
Don’t think for a moment, however, that this South-West setup is just a copy-cat act. Their tracks are magnificently built and layered, and the comparisons that can be made with electro giants such as Tycho just go to show how professional and tight an album their debut is. They’ve ticked off all the boxes on my imaginary requirements for a successful debut electro LP. Firstly, there’s signs of experimentation and a variety of routes that the duo could take in the future. There’s also individuality and a recurring aspect among the tracks. Most importantly, they’ve kept things neat and tidy. All Over Again, All Over Again leaves me excited for Delmer Darion’s future releases. The general professionalism (considering it’s their first album) warrants great praise alone, but the quality inside demands that any fan of electronic music give Delmer Darion a serious listen.