In a world where false genres and fabricated scenes are commonplace, it’s somewhat jarring to come across an act that is willing to talk straight. Claiming to be ‘experimental hip-hop’ isn’t the most exotic of classifications – in fact, it’s the kind of thing you’d be likely to find in a 1998 copy of Q magazine – but it’s a delightfully simple description of what Star Slinger does. The solo work of a man called Darren, he was born and raised in Nottinghamshire, though he’s spent the past few years in Manchester honing his craft. Under previous guises he’s already had his music on 12″ and had a mix championed by Radio 1. Though previously focused on dance, the experience has been poured into his current work.
This isn’t the kind of stuff that’s going to get a dancefloor jumping, high tempo beats sacrificed for a building crescendo of noise, the melody and hand-picked samples given time to breathe and develop. The tracks glow with energy, and there are bits of chiptune that creep in at the corners without ever turning into the mind-numbing headache that the genre usually descends into. It’s music that feels like it could be the soundtrack to a good movie, or at least the kind of stuff that bars should play instead of an NME Essential CD from 2005. If he was from sunnier climes, it’s certain that his last.fm would’ve had at least one mention of ‘chillwave’. It shouldn’t be long until someone invents a rainier version just for Star Slinger.