Diagrams: Black Light


Nothing like the early new year wave of new releases to inspire a recently lackluster blogger. And early as it is, I am confident that Diagrams’ debut album is gonna go the distance and be recognised as one of the best of 2012. Essentially the work of ex-Tunng man Sam Genders, Diagrams is so much more than a solo project, and it is surprisingly sharper and more succinct than his previous band’s material would have suggested.  If it retains anything of the proggy experimental nature of Tunng, it does so in easily digestible bite size chunks, aka pop songs. In this respect I was immediately reminded of Field Music, unlike other reviewers who draw comparisons to Hot Chip and Elbow. Frankly this music  is far more interesting than anything Elbow have released and has a warm beating human heart unlike the work of Hot Chip.

The combination of real instruments and programmed beats places the album somewhere between a live band sound and that of a bedroom musician, surely the ideal place for experimental pop on record.  There is a joie de vivre quality to the melodies in keeping with reports that Genders took some time out to reassess and rethink his musical place in life. In Dylan terms it has a New Morning feel. Like the album title suggests, lyrically he plays with the seemingly opposing nature of human experience. There is no black and white, and if there is black, then it too is light. Rhythmically angular and sonically clean the sound comprises strange shapes which add up to wonderfully unified wholes. Diagrams as it were.

Diagrams: Tall Buildings



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