King Creosote and Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine

The only payoff for you the listener is that you really have to give this record your full attention. And does the modern world allow for that?


http://www.munichrecords.com http://www.dominorecordco.com


This is an album that demands a couple of listens. It’s reflective and at times downbeat music, with not much reference (outside of Creosote’s distinctive voice) to either artist’s most recent records. The opening track, First Watch is more of a sound collage than a song.  It’s a good marker - timbre-wise - for the rest of the album; there’s nothing that jumps out at you in Diamond Mine. You are in the danger of being lulled into a pleasant state of inanition. In fact it’s such an understated record that I started when the soft female vocal came in half way through Bubble. One other thing: I’d personally recommend that you listen to it on your headphones, as it does have the ability to pass you by if you don’t give it some proper attention. The melodies are softly crafted, and the points are delicately made.


 The album’s core strength is the unaffected way King Creosote’s songs draw attention to the nature of things in life; the result of his efforts is always graceful and clear. There’s a lot of mentions of the passing of time; “especially at our age” in Running on Fumes, or noticing that your sideburns are going grey in Bats in the Attic. And there are plenty of descriptions of landscape, personal situation, (the burden of going to sea on John Taylor’s Watch) or emotion (Your Own Spell). Jon Hopkins adds moments that really do lift the music to a crystalline level; the swell of synths and samples at the end of Running on Fumes is "something else" indeed. And Your Own Spell has a beautifully soft arrangement; a fiddle’s mournful coda is gently egged on by a soft, warm and patient piano scale.


The only payoff for you the listener is that you really have to give this record your full attention. And does the modern world allow for that?