Artist Spotlight: Sarah Darby

YO! Let’s keep on keeping this shit positive!!!!!

We are spotlighting the people who are most important to us here at SUPER DARK Collective.

We LOVE experimental noise artist, filmmaker and punk vocalist Sarah Darby.

Sarah and I have been intensely inseparable creative collaborators for the last two years. Our relationship started with the two of us meeting at John Gill‘s birthday party. From there she religiously attended Super Dark Thursday at River Street Pub. That summer we ate mushrooms, wandered around Troy and started making weird videos on YouTube.

In the beginning I loved hearing stories of her early 20’s, living in punk houses in Boston and New York City. How she shaved her head and wandered around Harvard campus terrorizing students with her performance art and anarchist art installations. She told me how she always desired to make electronic music, but was constantly deterred by chauvinist EDM ex boyfriends who told her she couldn’t do it. That’s ridiculous, I thought. Let’s start a band.

In the summer of 2018 Sarah began working on the concept of Muzzle Lords. She littered the Capitol Region with street art and began making psychedelic videos about a girl named Heather. Heather became so obsessed with radio static that she finally got sucked into the Static World and met a boy named Billy. Obviously they started a band. We made it a weekly habit to set up synthesizers, toy instruments and drum machines in our apartment. Always more interested in noise over melody, Sarah gravitated exclusively to my Monotribe.

Muzzle Lords released our first EP’s Satan’s Polka and Subliminal Fried Rice in the Fall of 2018. It was “real German boot-knocking” hard – trance – dark – electronic – techno. We played our first show at the Second Annual Super Dark Halloween Prom at Desperate Annie’s. In 2019 we released the EP’s Mild Animated Violence and Empathy Box.

In 2019 Sarah was extremely prolific. She started out the year by curating and assembling the first issue of Super Dark News. A 22 page black and white zine featuring original poetry, art and writings from artists all over the Capital Region. She directed the music video for indie rock band Dryer‘s single “Green Paper” from their latest EP Bright Moon, Bright Sun. She also started co-hosting Super Dark Radio every Thursday with us at WSPN.

She began performing solo music under her confirmation name Madeline Darby. Inspired by sound artists like Laurie Anderson, Pauline Oliveros and Delia Derbyshire, she explores hypnotic textures and sounds using synthesizers, tape loops, contact mics, dildos, percussion & a flour sifter. She’s performed live with notable artists like Dressy Bessy, Live Skull‘s Thalia Zedek Band, Destroy All MonstersBenjamin Miller and Hazel Atlas (of Timco, Enablers and Nice Strong Arm).

She curated her own Super Dark showcases, including a special “Plug in and Play” noise experiment, and an all female “Ladies of Noise” showcase featuring Troy sound artist Michelle Temple and Hong Kong’s inventor/sound artist Viola Yip. She self released six solo albums in 2019, WAX, Soap Opera Sex, Confirmation, ANTI-SPA, Phone Calls from the Devil and a live album This Album Was Recorded in Front of a Live Audience.

Sarah and I started the synth punk band Thinner Friends with singer/guitarist Gary Ziroli. Sarah and Gary trade lead vocals, going for a “poor, poor man’s B-52’s”. We played our first show in November of 2019 opening for Super Dark favorites Evil Sword and Buck Gooter.

2020 already shows to be another prolific year for Sarah. Her first full length album What is Love? was released by North Carolina cassette label Tribe Tapes. Thinner Friends went into the studio with Paul Coleman and recorded our self titled EP. She released released two EP’s Modern Dance and Car Songs and a meditative ambient track titled “Balance“. In the midst of COVID-19, Sarah and I started a dark no wave duo called Dominated Swine, releasing our first demo Songs of the Dominated Swine.

Sarah directed her first short film WUXING. Based on the five Chinese elements, the film is a collaboration with artists Jason Martin, Pain Chain, 1983, Joan Ah Kelsey, 100 Psychic Dreams and ryan flynn.

As of right now Sarah just wrapped up directing a music video for Blood Blood Blood, is working on a new Madeline Darby full length, hand making her own tarot deck, t-shirts, zine and focusing on starting an all girl band.Please support this artist!!!
WUXING – short film

Dryer “Green Paper” – Directed by Sarah Darby

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