Electro-punk duo Go Dark make irreverent, transgressive music that combines politicized polemics with dancefloor-ready fun, mashing together melodic electro-pop with eight-bit samples, hip-hop beats, retro analog synth, and Day-Glo aesthetics.
Formed in Oakland, California in 2014, Go Dark was the brainchild of producer/rapper Adam Drucker, better known as DoseOne, founder of the backpack hip-hop collective and label Anticon and member of many of its affiliated projects, including Subtle, Themselves, Deep Puddle Dynamics, and Clouddead. Go Dark was born when he met Ashley "Crash" Gallegos, a traveler and punk who had busked her way round the world but had never performed in a professional musical ensemble. Recognizing a kindred spirit, and seeking a relief from the strictures and responsibilities of his many other musical endeavors, Drucker invited her to join him in a new, much looser and freer outfit where he could simply let the music speak for itself. Sneaking out their debut EP BitchSword in 2014, they initially remained anonymous, with Drucker unwilling to let his past projects cloud perceptions of the record. Another EP, BrightWild, followed in 2015. Combining Day-Glo aesthetics with left-wing polemics to create a kind of "21st century cyberpunk," their fusion of bitcrushed hip-hop beats with electro-pop melodies nodded to genre pioneers like Atari Teenage Riot, but betrayed a strong chiptune influence in their heavy use of eight-bit sampling. Recorded over three years as Gallegos learned studio production by night while waitressing by day to earn her keep, their debut full-length album, Neon Young, was released in 2019 by Bella Union, preceded by the singles "Numb" and "Violetest Red." ~ John D. Buchanan