Dark is a band that evolved out of the bowels of the Los Angeles studio environment in the final decade of the last millennium.
In 1990, amidst the “as of yet un-rehabilitated” downtown center of Hollywood, a studio known as Kasslar Sound was established by Randy Abernethy with the first all digital hard disk recording environment (read: “no analog tape”). A 300 megabyte disk drive ran around $2,000 at the time and sounded like an aircraft taking off, yet Kasslar Sound flourished in its niche, cranking out work on albums by Bark Market, the Pharcyde, and many other underground forces to be reckoned with.
Abernethy had performed in a band known as Presence in Santa Barbara, and later Red Presence, in Los Angeles. After a bright flash at UCSB and the clubs in Los Angeles, Red Presence flamed out in the excess of after hours Hollywood. From and through the strife of this beginning a story began to develop based around a myth tied to the reality of the Native Americans who previously resided in the coastal area of Southern California. These concepts began to take shape at the hands of Abernethy in the wee hours at Kasslar Sound through progressive rock influences and crunching guitars.
In 1995, Randy moved one of his studio rooms to his house (shack?) in the Mountains outside of Los Angeles to pursue a proper recording of what would soon be known as “Song for Kukulcan”. Randy had played in power trios nearly exclusively since his teething days at the Omni and the Stone in the San Francisco area. A band was needed, and more specifically a rhythm section, to continue the work.
Fortuitously, an incredibly potent bass player, Dan McNay, and a thunderous drummer, Mike Frowein, had just participated in the melt down of a newly signed act recording at Hollywood Sound next door to the Kasslar studio. Shortly after introductions and a few yards of Scotch Ale, Randy, Dan and Fro (Frowein) became Dark (in more ways than one). The band set out to build a record such as none of them had worked on before.
The album evolved and racked itself through emotional highs and lows. It built and collapsed but always drove forward toward completion. The story of the album is a tragedy that takes place in a point in time and outside of time. It is happening today and it has always happened. Song for Kukulcan is dark, brooding and emotionally draining. It is heavy but filled with contrast and painted with the brushes of spacious environmental sonics and slamming GTR/BASS/DR sections. And somehow, someway, it was completed. Perhaps it is the spirit of the album that created the adhesion necessary to hold the components of Dark in solution long enough to reach the epoch. Such forces are hard to understand, regardless, Song for Kukulcan is here for you, humbly submitted for contemplation.