Night Drifter is the Dark Pop venture of Dutch Lis Van Den Akker & Swedish Producer Daniel Watson. Lis has worked with acts like Psy’Aviah, SD-KRTR, Misery and others, while Daniel has worked with many different projects, as well as producers like Samsaeri, Dr. Shinto, Sonar Eclipse, and many more. Currently working on an album to be released later this year, the duo are also planning a tour. Their single, “People Are Strange” is an unpredictable track, thrillingly and engagingly so. The song takes different forms – from IDM to darkwave, and retro synth sounds. I don’t usually go for this kind of darkened bliss, but when I do, I obsess over it. I jam it hard until everyone around me has been overwhelmingly subjected to it.
There are no climactic moments that are meant to take the focal point of “People Are Strange”, Lis Van Den Akker & Daniel Watson’s panoptic attitude gives their music a consistent feeling of collaborative elation as if it is a prerogative skill they both possess. Night Drifter are by turns blistering and beautiful here, and are at times even able to pull off both simultaneously.
The song rages on with rhythmic cacophony as Lis Van Den Akker enhances her already alternately sweet and vicious voice by either smothering it with reverb or drowning it under distortion, getting the maximum result from each extremity.
“People Are Strange” is compelling, uncompromising and yet tethered to the ground. The track displays the same elements that drew their fans in the first place, when they released a cover of the Marianne Faithfull track, “Broken English”.
It is filled with the same ferocious, breathless sonic soundscape, warped glitches and bruising bombast that made Night Drifter fairly unique. The track unfolds like a pack of cards and then kicks into high gear with hypnotic and mesmerizing digital goodness. It has a true industrial dance ethos found throughout its murky dark goodness.
Remarkably unlike many Electronic genre releases, this track is brief and not a long drawn out repetitive affair. The song charges forth making its impression and is gone before it can overstay its welcome.
There is just the right amount of ebb and flow in the arrangement to engage and hold the listener’s attention, and leave him, or her, wanting more. Daniel Watson’s apt producing and molding of the content leads to a satisfying release that will thrill fans of the genre.
Dark Pop may not be everyone’s cup of tea but this track is the top of the crest for those who enjoy the genre and an excellent gateway for those listeners who are curious. “People Are Strange” is an endlessly playable record that could just be the start of something much more promising than expected.
If your taste in music leans somewhat towards the left of the field, and open to anything away from the dull mainstream, then Night Drifter is a musical voice worth paying attention to.