Diamond Version is a Mute Records-based collaboration between veteran experimental artists Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto) and Olaf Bender (Byetone), perhaps best known as two of the minds behind Germany's Raster-Noton imprint. The duo draw their inspiration from "digital short message information culture"—that is, those incessant corporate slogans and sound bites that are never far from a modern consumer's eyes and ears.
Following a somewhat subdued first record, EP 2 lashes out with full-throated intensity right from the start. Opening track "Science for a Better Life" might be the best thing from Diamond Version so far: their precise percussive style is on full display, and those disemboweled voices, spewing out familiar advertising appeals like "Do you suffer from pain?" are sure to stick in your head longer than the average infomercial jingle. The sloganeering takes a more explicitly cynical turn with the 80-second protest song "Shift the Future" (its primary vocal line is "You lie, we die"). Those looking for a floor-ready instrumental should be more than happy with "Forever New Frontiers," which thumps, growls and shrieks like the strongest mechanized beasts assembled at Raster-Noton.
Ultimately, Mute will issue five Diamond Version EPs, along with a full-length release later on in 2013. It's shaping up to be one of the year's most remarkable experimental albums, if the twisted pop sensibility and visceral electronics of EP 2 are any indicator.
Buy Diamond Version - EP 2 at
Tracklist: Diamond Version - EP 2 A1 Science for a Better Life
A2 Shift the Future
B Forever New Frontiers