A whole spectrum of colors is projected onto the stage as a strange, off-rhythm beat plays. Then drums kick in and datamoshing visuals—“glitch art”— begin to warp digital images around the band members in a rainbow of chaos.
This is the scene that local band Dark Colour sets for its live shows, captivating its audience both visually and musically.
Dark Colour is not the type of electronic band to pride itself on stereotypical EDM ways, such as homemade kandi bracelets and furry platform boots.
But the band doesn’t take itself too seriously, either, even after being recently nominated for Best Electronic Act in the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards by local alternative newspaper CityBeat.
Humbled by the recognition, the band is immensely grateful to its fans.
Aside from the quality of its music, people are wondering how Dark Colour — a group consisting of 2014 University of Cincinnati graduates Randall Rigdon Jr. and Joseph Sparough, current UC student Coleman Williams and Cincinnati-native Sean Kelley — has gained so much popularity.
Rigdon credits the local media.
“We have had a lot of good support from local media such as WNKU and Bearcast,” Rigdon said. “People have been requesting us on The Project — a lot of people hear about us on the radio.”
Dark Colour began as a solo project, with Rigdon playing shows accompanied by a drummer.
Despite the fact that three of the four members all attended UC at the same time, they never met on campus. Instead, it was a live performance that brought them together.
“A lot of the guys who saw the show connected with what they saw, and they came to me and asked to be apart of what I was doing,” Rigdon said. “They fell right into place at the right time.”
Dark Colour’s full-length album “Prisoner” includes a song titled “The Games Are Killing Us.” The same refrain is repeated throughout the song: “The games are killing us, every one of us/Yet we’ve done nothing wrong.”
Although it may seem very simple — almost too simple — the somber background beat captures the message’s tone perfectly.
Rigdon graduated from UC with a major in electronic media and has been the primary writer for most of Dark Colour’s content.
“The games we all play in our lives, whether it is a job or a relationship; ‘The Games Are Killing Us’ is about breaking free of those roles we fall into. It is about addressing social norms,” Rigdon said.
Sparough added that the lyrics are about “love and connections to other people. That is really what we are trying to do — bring a connection.”
With a sound similar to MGMT’s album “Oracular Spectacular,”Dark Colour is rising in the ranks of local musicians. Students at UC can identify with the enchanting beats and lighthearted nature of the band.
“In general I think our music is very fun and danceable,” Sparough said. “I think a lot of college students like to dance and would like to hear our kind of music at a party.”
Dark Colour is releasing two singles this month, the first of which it has completed collectively. Although this project has been in the works for a couple of years, the current lineup has only been together for a year. These singles are the first to represent the band Dark Colour is today.
CincyMusic has released the first single, and Impose Magazine will release the second one later this month.
You can frequently experience Dark Colour playing live in Over-the-Rhine at Maudies, MOTR Pub and the Drinkery OTR. This Sunday, Dark Colour will be among many celebrated local musicians performing at the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards.
“We are all about the endless potential and limitlessness of the electric medium,” Rigdon said. “If you are interested in its power, come and check out our shows.”
You can hear "The Games Are Killing Us Below" and more songs by visiting their SoundCloud page.