Do you have ever have the faintest clue about something and it sets you on edge?
There was just something about Darkfield Radio‘s presentation DOUBLE which made me think of the mental commitment I was about to make. Faint whisper of trigger warnings in its press release; A request to have the best audio on hand to be taken away to another land; And the insistence you’re joined by an other, whether physically or virtually (in this case I chose virtual because “PANDEMIC”). I suppose the name Darkfield Radio doesn’t help either, but I personally found it reassuring.
Accessible via an app you can download to your mobile device on both Android and iOS, it’s easy to jump into DOUBLE. Have your other on hand? Check. Great pair of headphones? Groovy. Booked a session easily via the app or website? Done. Once these are all completed, the app will remind you gently of this world you’re going to join; One hidden behind blackened optic nerves and open aural hallways.
Dialling in my friend by providing more data to Facebook (I hope they have my face right by now), we hilariously both created low-lit environs to further insist DOUBLE take us away. Placed a table-width apart, noisy static and alerts repeat over the airwaves in “Purge”-like fashion as the session starts. You’ll require a good network connection to take part in this mind-bending experience, to ensure high quality is on-demand. Thankfully its run-time is brief, but with the way it uses sound, it feels anything but.
The announcer who rung through your ears earlier as alerts, beckons to lull you into DOUBLE. Have a glass of water on your side. Ensure you can clearly see the face of your partner and remember them. Then you close your eyes. Subtle auditory cues start to tip-toe around your ears, as the show produces an intense 360 degree experience through sound. The story asks you to trust the world in your mind; To construct the one you were just viewing as your mind saw it. The narrative then finds itself deconstructed by a new question; Can you trust this world? This all happens as items break and clang in the background, threatening to further destabilize you as much as the narrative itself.
And then it’s over.
I appreciate the sense of abruptness to its end. It certainly climaxes on one of its most useful effects, as a sensation that someone is right next to you haunts your hearing. Opening your eyes, you look over at your other, and you debate the concepts of existence and its meaning. And this is DOUBLE‘s strongest suit. It isn’t asking you to leave your world for a long time. But it does ask you to wonder which of them is really the real one.
Impossibly creepy at times, and leaving you wondering what it means to confront the reality you take in optically versus the one you take in audibly, DOUBLE is a fun ride through your senses.
And honestly, feeling like someone is right next to you when you know they're not...is a whole other terrifying thing.
The New Zealand season of DOUBLE is now open, and runs September 1-29. Tickets are now on sale, for just $10 per access code, and are available from https://www.darkfield.nz/radio.
XENOJAY.COM was supplied with access to review DOUBLE, and it was reviewed on a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G mobile device connected via Fibre.