Boston Globe, May 6, 2012
Even by today’s accelerated standard of Internet-amplified music fame, this one happened pretty fast. Two years ago, the producer Star Slinger was just Darren Williams, age 24 at the time, another provincial British kid messing around making beats, albeit with a degree in music technology from a college in Leeds. He had moved to Manchester and was prowling that city’s secondhand record stores, digging for sounds and ideas.
Now Star Slinger is an international touring artist with an insane travel schedule and a plethora of beats, remixes, and collaborations of all sorts zooming around the Web. His absurdly eclectic list of remix targets extends from H-Town to Childish Gambino, Nicki Minaj to Cocteau Twins, Buraka Som Sistema to Broken Social Scene.
He’s made an album-length project, “Vol. 1,” a collection of atmospheric beats laced with samples from old soul and reggae, in the tradition of the late and much-lamented Detroit soundsmith J. Dilla.
And he has released two new singles that presage a more ambitious second album underway. One track features rappers Lil B and Stunnaman, the other a Kansas City experimental soul singer named Reggie B.
In the kind of gesture that signifies mutual recognition and approval in these circles, he’s seen his own work remixed by Diplo, the influential producer and DJ. But an even starker indication of Williams’s emergence is to be found in the calls he is now getting to work with current pop’s biggest names.