The story of
D A R K E R
 

Already before the eponymous darXtar tape was completed and waiting to be released by Acid Tapes, the space-rock duo from Sweden had their next excursion into space rock planned. It was going to be a trip into the dark and unpleasant places of space, with an even slower soaring tempo than it's predecessor and now they would make use of every single electronic device and synthesiser they had in their possession. As Bengtsson always had a weakness for effect boxes (and worshiped the production of Hawkwind's Doremi album) everything, and absolutely everything, was drenched in delay, chorus, flanger and unknown distortions of all kinds. Studio terra had been upgraded as well to cope with the task and Bengtsson was now fairly acquainted with the rythm programming on the Atari. At this stage Darker was planned for a cassette release only, as this was before the SPM connection, and the two musicians didn't even dream to have any of these recordings out on CD. The new compositions were tailor made for the harsh space environment and, still relying on the three retakes or skip it attitude, they came out surprisingly fresh despite the dense and dark production. During their most intensive recording period, the letter from SPM with the recording contract proposal dropped like a bomb at terra. Fortunately, Darker was more or less ready  when this occured, and it didn't hamper the recording as it might have done if they had felt the pressure to produce yet another CD. As soon as SPM had the CD released, they sent them a pre-mix of Darker to check the reaction, and they freaked out. It was classified as being "too experimental and uncommercial", and if a release on SPM would be realized a major rework had to be considered. Bengtsson himself considered the recording finished in its present status and politely made it clear that if it was down to commercialism, darXtar was happy to search elsewhere for a deal. So now it was back to square one. A tape release now, in the wake of their debut CD, didn't feel too exciting and by now they considered to bring new musicians in for their next project Daybreak, as they were getting bored with the virtual band situation. As usual Daybreak was in their minds even before the recording of Darker was finished, and perhaps it is this forward looking mentality that has kept them going on despite being constantly neglected by the establishment. Meanwhile a demo that didn't make it onto Darker was released on an Acid Tape compilation, and the (first) search for a record company begun. The only criteria was that they had to accept Darker as it was and that they had good distribution channels. The latter part showed to be the trickiest, and in the middle of this, Bengtsson went through some personal problems that off and on moved Darker down the priority list for some time. During this period he had an idea to release it himself as two separate CD singles, Dark and Darker, to keep the costs down. Luckily, that turned out to be too expensive as well. When all seemed completely hopeless, they decided to have a go with some new musicians to kick off the Daybreak project, and they eventually invited Juba's former Achilleus Vrede companion Patric Danielsson to a space rock jam. Patric had been doing the blues scene for years, lately on rythm guitar, and was really looking forward to play some real space rock as he too was pretty much into the early Hawkwind stuff. This proved to be a stroke of luck as he, after he heard the Darker tape, both gave them a lead to a possible record company he was aqcuainted with, and a draft for a sleeve to Darker. The record company was Garageland records and they were happy to release Darker as it was. They also seemed to have a reasonably good distribution and they were definitely not commersially driven. A deal was set and by april 1993 it was finally released. The CD was given a somewhat apathetic reception by the band, as they were now striving away from that machined sound and was working hard on the Daybreak project, traditional space rock, Hawkwind style. Although considered by the band as out of date already when it was released, it is well worth investigating if you're into really spaced out psychedelia.