In 2011, Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington were on tour in Berlin when, on an off-day, they were too restless to relax. Stationed in a hotel room, Jaar asked Harrington, who was playing guitar in Jaar's touring band, if he wanted to make some music. Harrington said yes. The duo cobbled together a makeshift recording system out of Jaar's laptop, Harrington's guitar, and some small speakers and spent a few hours recording, looping, and warping a track built on a Harrington guitar part. Then, as Harrington recalled to Dummy magazine last year, the speakers went ballistic.
"The room filled with smoke, and there were sparks because we'd been using some kind of shitty travel adapter, because we were stupid." The electrical mishap axed the session, but by then, they already had pieced together the bulk of "A1," the inaugural track they would release as experimental electronic music duo Darkside.
Both members of the New York-based outfit regarded those smoking speakers as a good omen. "If you're open to it, you can't help but believe in the meaning of some things like that," Harrington, 28, says. "For me, [the significance was] the shock and intensity of nearly setting a hotel on fire but also the way we made that song and worked for the two or three hours before then. [It] was so unplanned. I don't even really remember doing it. It was so easy and so fortuitous that the other guys from the band disappeared, and suddenly it was just me and Nico. The way that three or four hours just kind of happened without any planning did feel cosmic in its own way." -- Reyan Ali