King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine (Domino/Double Six)

When you’ve a back catalogue stretching to some thirty albums – a mixture of DIY releases and full label outings – and a list of onstage and recorded collaborations longer than several arms, finding and choosing a bunch of gems to reinterpret must be both blessing and curse.
Fence Records founder Kenny Anderson, aka King Creosote, was the man with this particular headache and he seems to have found the cure in the form of what is essentially a listen-straight-through setpiece. Opening with a radio documentary style soundscape from a village hall tea morning, Diamond Mine gradually builds its narrative with the gentle swoon of Anderson’s plaintive vocals sitting snugly alongside fellow Fence man Jon Hopkins’ electronic tapestry.
The album, says Fence’s Pictish Trail, is “intended to be heard as a single experience, [it] produces a near classical suite of emotion ranging from cracked despair to patched-up euphoria,” which pretty much says it all.
This isn’t the kind of record from which to pick stand-out tracks, the whole being very much greater than the sum of its not inconsiderable parts. Diamond Mine is sure to delight KC’s legions of fans and the wider recognition the album will receive via its Mercury Prize nomination is bound to bring in a new army of treasure hunters, entranced by the shiny delights of Fife’s premier troubadour.
Release date: 28th March 2011

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