Exposure: Dan Black
- Oliver Farrimond
- 18 February 2009
Of all the burgeoning talent waiting to dethrone 2008's vapid chart-botherers, Dan Black is perhaps the most intriguing. He strikes a pose somewhere between Jane's Addiction and Calvin Harris; a charismatic dancefloor-botherer unwilling to sacrifice pop hooks for lyrical honesty, with a penchant for cutting a shape or two that sets him apart from most solo male artists currently grasping at celebrity. Black made the break for solo stardom after teetering on the brink of international success with fringe indie outfit The Servant for almost a decade, presumably tired of waiting for his big moment. After a period of ensconcement in Paris, he jerks into Edinburgh headlining the NME-sponsored Wonky Pop Tour, which has become a reliable launch-pad for young artists.
Much of the work is already done, though. He already has many of the raw materials to fashion mainstream popularity. Sporting stellar cheekbones and a knack for dark lyrical inflection, Black possesses a rasping croon that has seen him compared to a young Liam Gallagher. He has garnered his fair share of hype too, albeit with a late-Noughties twist. His patchwork cover of Notorious BIG's 'Hypnotize' has drawn the ephemeral gaze of the blogosphere's taste-makers, with the likes of Perez Hilton getting all hot and bothered over the track's doting charisma and canny sampling of Rhianna's 'Umbrella'. Commentators from more stately mediums – no less than the BBC Radio 1 Head of Music - have tipped Black for huge success in 2009. Perfect, then, to catch him at the somewhat less-than-huge Cabaret Voltaire sweatbox before he achieves ubiquity.