Righteous Fists Of Harmony
Righteous Fists of Harmony is a new accessible record by eclectic wizard Alfred Darlington since his solid 2008 album Love To Make Music To. It’s his first album on Flying Lotus’ imprint Brainfeeder, and he’s very comfortable in that company. The EP is a requiem for the end—of beliefs, of lives, and of an era. And it’s based on the Boxer Rebellion; a force of resistance fighters calling themselves “The Righteous Fists of Harmony” during an uprising that took place in response to British imperialist expansion, growth of cosmopolitan influences and missionary evangelism in China between 1898 and 1901. It reflects a similar battle we have today against the constant race for new technology and forgetting about old values.
The record plays out like a score, opening with a slow build up and haunting beats on the epic “An Armada Approaches.” The following tracks feature sensitive strings, lush arrangements and something like a French score before the single “Order of the Golden Dawn” with its acoustic guitar and Bossa Nova vibe. Hazy vocals are provided from wife Laura Darlington, and together they make perfect summer music. “Succumbing To” features Kid A on vocals and echoes Serge Gainsbourg. Another vocal track is the atmospheric “Stampede Me” featuring Amir Yaghmai, sounding like it was recorded in a monastery. The closing track “Fin de Siècle” is beautifully orchestrated, sounding like an old movie, and it is accompanied by a visually stunning video. Daedelus has always been a progressive electronic artist, but he manages to balance that with melancholy and analog instruments. This is some of his strongest work yet, and it’s an impressing concept piece.