We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Standout Track: No. 8, “Tacit Blue,” is a nuanced, club-ready banger from D.C.-based techno auteur Rory O’Connor, a.k.a. Nitemoves. The instrumental track—from his latest album, Don’t Ask!—kicks off the record’s excellent final act with a relentless but varied progressive jam, influenced by the spacier side of italo disco, a style of music O’Connor’s parents played during his formative years. It’s a space-y track that sends listeners through a series of sonic gates at interstellar speeds—each time upping the ante with reverb, delay, phasing, and just about every other effect under the sun. Nitemoves: bringing D.C. music into the space age one thump at a time.
Musical Motivation: Institutionalized secrets. In musical terms, “tacit” means quieter volume, but as evidenced by the not-so-quiet nature of “Tacit Blue,” the song’s title is in fact a reference to clandestine defense programs. “The ‘Tacit Blue’ program,” O’Connor explains, “was a concept Northrup Grumman developed in radar evasion technology in the mid-to-late 70s.” And while the music is entirely instrumental, O’Connor describes Don’t Ask! as a “concept album,” featuring hints and nods to highly classified military programs from over the years. “A lot of the songs on [Don’t Ask!] deal with generally secretive behavior,” he says, “[The songs] were based on things I was thinking and reading about, trying to draw superficial connections between technology and my work.”
Form Vs. Function: “I think I’ve always been a technically minded person,” O’Connor reflects. “I’ve always been really interested in technology and how stuff works, and that’s how I fell into writing music on synthesizers and 4-tracks, stuff like that.” And if his Instagram feed is any evidence, it’s clear he appreciates the art of machinery, interspersing shots from the road with images of fighter jets and more.