Dark Arps is the latest moniker of veteran Canadian electronic artist, producer, and engineer Jonathan Bierman. Originally inspired by the slew of groundbreaking acts that arose from the UK’s DnB and trip hop scenes in the ’90s, Jon’s taste evolved to incorporate nu-skool breaks, house, and techno. Timeless acts such as Hybrid, Underworld, and The Prodigy were influential role models that forged in him an equal commitment to musicality, high production standards, and, of course, dance-ability. Throughout the 2000s Jon spent eight years producing, engineering, touring, and performing with one of the UK’s first truly live DnB/breakbeat acts, Keiretsu. During this period he continued to produce, remix, and collaborate with an endless variety of electronic and traditional acts, giving him a diverse pool of influence from which to draw inspiration. Now in Jon’s 15th year as an electronic music producer, and reinvigorated by his new spiritual home of Vancouver BC, Dark Arps’ productions are more coherent, confident and technically sophisticated than ever.
The Real Age EP is the latest Dark Arps release from the Steamtown Records label, highlighting Jon’s latest sonic adventures among four diverse, ambitious, and cinematic tracks. The EP contains the following top notch productions:
“Real Age” - A funky, light-hearted romp through house and techno, this track is all about rhythm and bass. Summertime vibes transport you back to the playground, filling the soul with childish innocence. Cheeky, surreal vocal samples in the breakdowns lead the floor into no-nonsense, ultra-groovy drops, with warm and squelchy LFO bass lines, heavy on the triplets. Guaranteed smiling faces, all over the dance floor.
“In Flux” - Progressive breaks and techno collide in this deep, melodic grower. Lush, evolving pads are supported by an infectious techno-breaks drum-line. Simple, melodic bass lines play call-and response between punchy subs and aggressive growling overtones while keeping the energy and vibe constant, brooding and understated. Ideal for long mixes.
“Choices” - A stomping, bass-heavy progressive house and techno track with plenty of bounce, “Choices” gives the dance floor something to rave about. Chunky progressive bass lines alternate between a verse and chorus motif, punctuated with bubbling, underwater blips and bells. Punchy stabs grow to emphatic crescendos, supported by mysterious female vocals. Choice. There are too many choices. In Society. Today’s society.
“Kingdom” - a thumping, downtempo amalgamation of techno and hip-hop, with plenty of heart and soul. Arpeggiated melodic themes run throughout as pounding beats and grime-heavy basslines provide support. Lush atmospherics and mysterious male vocals carry you through a brutal opening movement until the breakdown, where the pace switches up, and you’re taken on a deep, ominous, yet optimistic melodic journey.
Andy Bury (ABX, Starjackers) - “Cool … I’m liking the Hybrid influence on the ‘In Flux’ track.”
Louk (Compulzion, Druck) - “I like ‘Choices’ … nice warm bass line.”
Joey Silvero (Distant People) - “Tight groove … it pulls you in and hypnotizes you. Such a cool sound!”
DJ Style (Knob Records) - “‘Real Age’ has an innovative beat … great job.”
Cheets (Global Dance Sessions) - “Strong tracks from a talented producer!”
Simon Francis (The Visionaires) - “NIce deep grooves … I like ‘Real Age.’” Claudio Di Leo (Housology Radio Show, Rome) - “This is dark in the right way.”
Grant Paterson (Castle FM, Fnoob Radio) - “‘Real Age’ is a cracking track … loads of fun.”
Rudy Kizer (Hit The Decks Radio Show) - “Techy and funky … I’m really feeling the whole EP.”
Joshua Jacobs (Music You Need) - “Futuristic elements blended into classic tech-house, grime, and D’n’B sounds coming from Dark Arps in this EP. Quality stuff.”