The vinyl-only label arm of Berlin-based boutique distributor Diamonds & Pearls has only four releases since 2009, but the label's history is a who's who of producers ranging from Tobias Freund to Henrik Schwarz, as well as a contribution from Ricardo Villalobos. The curatorial sweat shows in tracks that have sneaky lasting power. For their second release of 2012, Diamonds & Pearl's enlisted XDB and Kassem Mosse for a split 12-inch of choppy, subtle house that becomes more and more adrenalized over multiple listens.
XDB gunks up "Ekatem" with focused synthesizer curls that bobble over dominant, woolen hi-hats. The bass navigates with precision around the other elements, with the melodic resolution before the choruses creating a surge of forward motion that grubby handclaps accentuate. It sounds half-finished but not tossed-off, the plucky bass riff the only constant as you grasp at minute shifts like an elongated reverb tail.
The B-side "Omrish" is a collaborative effort between XDB and Kassem Mosse, and the atmospheric blush brings to mind an old Carl Craig track, only with more furtive inversions. Woodshop tools bite through the double-time kicks, becoming muffled and eventually revived. Synths periodically flash with depth, and their one-note appearances make you want to reach into the speakers and make them gleam even further.
Buy XDB / Kassem Mosse – Ekatem / Omrish at
Tracklist: XDB / Kassem Mosse – Ekatem / Omrish A XDB - Ekatem
B XDB & Kassem Mosse - Omrish