Diamond Version - EP4


1. Get Yours
2. Get Yours (Version)
3. Live Young
4. When Performance Matters

Just under three weeks ago it was made public: DIAMOND VERSION will support DEPECHE MODE’s stadium tour for select European dates. Therefore DIAMOND VERSION‘s just released EP4 may interest some more people than the well-informed circles and it may be appropriate to start this review with a short introduction about the two men behind this electro project. 

DIAMOND VERSION is the Mute Records-based collaboration of Carsten Nicolai aka ALVA NOTO and Olaf Bender alias BYETONE. Together with Frank Bretschneider they are the founders of raster-noton, one of the most important labels for advanced electronic music. Nicolai is also an internationally established visual artist. As a musician he’s one of the main figures of contemporary electronic music who’s noted for an exceeding productivity over the last 20 years. His musical output is characterised by a broad spectrum of genres, concepts, and collaborations for example with RYUICHI SAKAMOTO (Yellow Magic Orchestra), BLIXA BARGELD (Einstürzende Neubauten), MICHAEL NYMAN, RYOJI IKEDA, and MIKA VAINIO (Pan Sonic). Furthermore he’s one of those artists who’s considered as a so-called sound researcher. By bridging the fields of electronic music and scientific research he’s trying to make recondite things perceptible by the senses, for example when he uses theorems of the chaos theory to create sounds and rhythms.

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As DIAMOND VERSION Niclai and Bender produce propulsive club and electro tracks that are both borne by industrial sounds and digital noises. A lot of the tracks are influenced by BYETONE‘s predilection for energetic future rave sounds and technoid electro steppers as we know it from his previous raster-noton albums Death of a Typographer (2008) and Symeta (2011). Especially the last track of the EP, When Performance Matters – driven by a straight beat that is enriched by layers of sawtooth wave sounds – is made in this style. Additionally precisely arranged clicks and glitches are utilized as rhythmical components to give the beat a deeper complexity, although these elements are used much less and more in the background in comparison to ALVA NOTO‘s beat orientated works such as Transform (2001) and Unitxt (2008).

So while the yet released EPs of DIAMOND VERSION are interesting rather for electro pop lovers than the enthusiasts of experimental music, we all can look forward with excitement not only to their tour with DEPECHE MODE but also to their debut album that will include new versions with guest vocalists.