|King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - Diamond Mine (2011, Double Six Records)|
"It's your young voice, that's keeping me holding on to my dull life"
If an album has made a big impact on me before the existence of this blog, I will occasionally just have to talk about it. Folk legend King Creosote's collaboration with electronic producer Jon Hopkins is one of those albums.
I have been a long follower of anything released by Jon Hopkins. His 2009 release 'Insides' was fantastic, mixing lush Ulrich Schnuass style soundscapes with Aphex Twin-esque IDM. As a live experience it was incredible, turning a bunch of indie loving scenesters into bouncing club goers as Hopkins dropped banger after banger. Hopkins is known for the variety of his releases; scoring underground movies (Monsters, 2010) and even making an appearance on a Coldplay album with a haunting section from 'Light Through The Veins'. That last one actually made me die inside a little. However, this latest release is none of the above.
Described by KC as a "romanticised version of a life lived in a Scottish coastal village", one would forgive you for assuming that this is going to be some kind of pretentious concept album. In some ways, you would be right. Consisting of the same emotive, lyrical and celtic vocals we have come to expect from KC but now supplemented with Hopkins' soundscapes and atmospheric samples, it is an odd sounding combination but it works seemlessly. We have haunting vocal harmonies, simplistic yet effective acoustic guitar lines, and subtle, soothing piano lines. This is all soaked in Hopkins' luscious production; this really hits home on the last phrase of second track 'John Taylor's Month Away', as chilling female vocals surge back and forth effortlessly.
At a mere 7 tracks, this album is over before you know it. But the journey is exceptional. Every track is heartbreaking and essential, each encapsulating an emotion of a certain period of time in one's life. I cannot wait to see these guys live in September.
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