Ninja Tune’s master of improvised sampledelia immersed us in a bonkers set of chops and beats. Recorded live in Mannheim.
Alfred Darlington isn’t your average cookie-cutter musician. From how he looks (early Victorian dandy) to how he makes music and expresses himself, his is a very “bespoke” outlook. Darlington was born in Santa Monica in 1977 to an artist mother and psychologist father; as a child he was classically and jazz-trained in a number of instruments, but his interests were a lot broader. Less a prodigy than a renaissance boy whose obsessions ranged from Greek mythology to the mountains of Wales, until he was a teenager he was convinced he’d grow up to be an inventor. At 15 he finally persuaded his parents to take him to Wales, and while at a YMCA in London, he flipped the radio dial, found a pirate radio station and taped some UK rave and hardcore. Ever since, Daedelus has been reinventing the possibilities of electronic music and instrumental hip-hop with albums on Mush, Plug Research, Laboratory Instinct and Ninja Tune, and has mentored and endorsed fellow visioneers such as Busdriver and Flying Lotus’s Brainfeeder clique. On top of that, Daedelus has established a unique way to handle the decks-and-laptop performance dilemma by cutting up his tunes into pieces, allowing him to bring fully improvised, interactive sets to the stage.