Diamond Version: CI (Mute, 2014)

June 9, 2014 at 12:30 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Diamond Version: CI

Diamond Version: CI

Raster-Noton founders Carsten Nicolai and Olaf Bender released a few EPs on Mute last year with this collaborative project Diamond Version, and now they’ve taken the step and created a full, cohesive album of the project. This album streamlines their glitchy microsound tracks into something more pop-minded, even going so far as to feature Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys, singing a weird electro-gospel hymn (“Were You There”). Of the other vocal-based tracks, “This Blank Action” is a wry, sarcastic spoken-word piece, continually playing on the phrases “sorry for your loss”. “Feel The Freedom” has feisty Japanese female vocals, recalling Mu. A few tracks are new and updated versions of tracks that appeared on the EP’s; “Turn On Tomorrow” is a skittering electro track, “Operate At Your Optimum” is a more buzzing, static-y electro track, “Science For A Better Life” has distorted vocal samples of commercial slogans and affirmations, and “Make Believe” is a more skittering Autechre-esque jam. Other highlights include the static-bombarded half-step beat of “Raising The Bar” and the Kraftwerk-inspired phone bleeps and operator messages of “Connecting People”. If you’re already familiar with recent Raster-Noton output, but aren’t afraid of a slightly more accessible sound (and especially if you love the Pet Shop Boys), this is obviously a must-listen. If this sound is all new to you, this could potentially awaken your mind to a lot of possibilities in the digital music world.


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