SPECTRAL SYNTH TEXTURES
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Immerse yourself in the unique and inspiring sound world of electronic duo Darkstar — processed analogue synth textures and loops, rich sub-basses, pitched-down drums, and icy, warped vocals, each layered with subliminal spectral echoes of rave culture and industrial white noise — ghosts in the machine, bleeding in and fading out.
Haunted House expands on the sonic palette of Darkstar’s 2020 album Civic Jams, out now on Warp Records — ‘a photonegative of a dance record’. From mournful and ominous, to warm, heartfelt nostalgia, each sound is full of character and emotion, designed to create tension, depth and atmosphere for any setting — from contemporary electronic music, to hybrid, modern film, TV & games composition. Presented in our award-winning, easy-to-use dedicated plug-in, this versatile tool offers a range of controls and effects, so you can immediately transform each preset to facilitate your own vision.
Which Way? - Hinako Omori (0:00 / 3:27)
Into The Depths (feat. Albion Neo) - Jo Paterson (0:00 / 2:56)
Not The Same - Homay Schmitz (feat. Intimate Strings) (0:00 / 2:19)
Haunted House (Soundtrack) — Darkstar (0:00 / 6:08)
Violet - Leo Wyatt (0:00 / 2:57)
Midas - Louis Rugg (0:00 / 1:03)
Zero Point - Oliver Patrice Weder (0:00 / 0:59)
— 44 presets
— SYNTHS: analogue-sounding layered synth textures, from sub basses and gritty, unsettling pads through to beautiful organ-like analogue-sounding synths
— VO1CES: icy, processed vocal samples, performed by Aiden Whalley (Darkstar)
— FOUND SOUND: gnarly textural London sounds
— RVVM: deep, lo-fi drums and percussion loops
— W4PRD: otherworldly synth sounds, made by Spitfire developers from the source material
— Attack, Release, Reverb, Delay, Stretch & Flanger controls
— Stretch function controls the speed of the sample playback
— Dynamics slider taking you from a clean signal to a 100% processed, haunted signal, unique to each preset
— Nine custom-made reverbs
— Available in Spitfire Audio's award-winning, dedicated plug-in
— For composers: suited to film, TV & games scoring, for creating tension beds, atmosphere, warmth, texture, and ambience, or adding orchestral elements — particularly suited to sci-fi and thrillers
— For producers: suited to a wide range of genres, from house to ambient electronic music, grime, 2-step and beyond
Darkstar’s journey into electronic music began with sequencers and extensive sampling — found sounds from the real world, films, TV shows, and samples of existing music. Their unique approach to sonic experimentation is palpable in the colour and shade of this versatile collection, made from analogue synths, organs sampled at Union Chapel, found sounds, vocals and drums, transformed via finely tuned processing techniques — from tape saturation to outboard re-amping, implementing warmth and texture in various ways.
A distillation of a sonic palette built up over the last few years, Haunted House swings from introspective to expansive, moody and industrial to nostalgic beauty, from the highs and lows of nocturnal inner-city life, to the dawn coming through. Electronic beds of uneasy ambience are haunted by disquieting white noise, peripheral shimmers, taking influence from various dance music genres — from shoegaze to deep house to grime, and the euphoria of 90s rave abandon — echoes of millennial-era underground dance parties at clubs including The Void and Plastic People (with presets named in tribute to Darkstar’s favourite club nights).
Haunted House invites you to reimagine, recreate or completely pull apart Darkstar's sound world, following the release of Darkstar’s acclaimed 2020 record, Civic Jams, out now on Warp Records. The Civic Jams album is available to purchase via Warp Records, either on its own, or as a bundle (limited edition 12-inch vinyl + download + sample library).
Both Civic Jams and Haunted House explore Darkstar's experience of the ever-changing London music scene — the claustrophobia and the euphoria; the sense of belonging found amidst the isolation of inner-city life; the uncertainty of its future. Reminiscent of the hauntology movement, these sounds reflect the things which lurk at the back of our mind or in memory alone — the beauty and heartbreak found in everyday life; a nostalgia for a future promised that never came to pass; faded cultural memories, with sinister undercurrents; London as a shell of its former cultural self. It captures the collective spirit of a city in mourning and its desolate horizons — a ghost town, waiting for the dawn.
Darkstar's origins in dance and bass music offer a fresh sonic perspective. Discovering electronic music through their love of sampling, they found their home and community in the London club scene. Their idiosyncratic take on electronic music has positioned them as key voices within the scene for the best part of two decades. In recent years, Darkstar have worked with the likes of Actress, Wild Beasts and Zomby, releasing music with Empress Of (XL) and Gaika. They have scored groundbreaking live dance performances with choreographer Holly Blakey (Mica Levi), as well as the Palme d’Or nominated short film, Dreamlands.
Darkstar were commissioned to write work for Organ Reframed festival, which they performed together with the London Contemporary Orchestra at Union Chapel in 2018. In 2019, they performed two of their new compositions at Queen Elizabeth Hall for Unclassified Live. They have worked with Metal Liverpool, Arts Council England and Harthill Community centre to create an installation and performance piece with teens from migrant communities. The final performance, TRACKBED, was performed at the Barbican, London.