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Black Light [CD]

Diagrams Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 10.91 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Music

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Biography

Diagrams may be an unfamiliar name, but the voice will be instantly recognisable: this is the new project of Sam Genders, former co-frontman and songwriter of experimental folkies Tunng.

Diagrams bears all the invention and imagination of the band Genders founded with Mike Lindsay, who has led Tunng since Genders’s departure, but channels it in a different direction. This is crisp, ... Read more in Amazon's Diagrams Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Jan 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: PIAS.
  • ASIN: B0065VTJ1Y
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,593 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Ghost Lit 3:010.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Tall Buildings 4:280.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Night All Night 3:47Album Only
Listen  4. Appetite 4:020.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Mills 4:420.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Antelope 2:350.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Black Light 4:270.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Animals 5:090.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Peninsula 6:370.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Product Description

Debut album from London's Diagrams, the brainchild of Sam Genders (ex-Tunng, The Accidental).
Genders' voice is immediately recognisable from his previous incarnations. Here, however, his warm vocal timbre is accompanied by electronic pop (such as in the title track), synth riffs and funk-laden basslines (as in `Antelope' and first single `Tall Buildings').

BBC Review

Diagrams is primarily the work of a bespectacled bloke from Streatham called Sam Genders, formerly of Tunng. Yes, he’s one of those bedroom tinkers, locking himself away to toy with ideas, writing melodies on his guitar and then breaking them up with programmed beats. The resulting sound is a minimal delight, with nods to the fragmented, jerky rhythms of Field Music, Metronomy and Broadcast, and – through Sam’s warm vocal – Elbow.

That’s quite a list of comparisons, yet Genders holds his own among them. With the help of a few like minds, including Micachu and Fever Ray’s co-producer Subliminal Kid, he has burst out of his bedroom and crafted a debut album that sounds like much more than the work of just one man. Indeed, to embody Black Light live on stage, Diagrams has to become a nine-piece band.

This is an album that wraps reassuring arms around you: while Genders enjoys experimenting with form, he also likes a delicate pop melody, making the pill incredibly easy to swallow. Over the bedrock of unpredictable, toe-tapping rhythms, Genders’ voice plots a steady course, often lingering on single, repeated lines: in the outro to Appetite, for example, he sings "no time like this time, no time" 11-and-a-half times in a row, but gets away with it because the sweeping orchestration is so lush that it’s like being lulled into a wonderful dream.

Elsewhere, it’s impossible not to be reminded of Kings of Convenience as Tall Buildings skips along, while the ballad Peninsula marks the point when Genders sounds most like Guy Garvey as he picks out a pretty pattern on his acoustic guitar. And he’s as playful with his lyrics as with his music: while opener Ghost Lit paints an image of baking bread in the morning and drinking hot tea, Night All Night is altogether more warped, inviting you to "Fly silent to the icy mountain / Make circles with the lions there". If the music wasn’t so easy on the ear, you’d worry about his mental health or drug consumption.

This combination of absurdity and accessibility makes Black Light a fascinating debut, and it marks Genders out as a solo talent to keep tabs on.

--Mike Haydock

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever Pop 16 Jan 2012
By Syriat TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Diagrams is basically Sam Genders, formerly of Tunng. This is his first effort after leaving his former band after time out which included primary school teaching. There are ten tracks here (a hidden track right at the end of the wonderful Peninsula) all of which are clever pop tracks that sound somewhere between Hot Chip, Illinois era Sufjan Stevens and occasionally even elbow.

The lyrics cover such obvious subject matter as Tall Buildings (which ends with the refrain Hexagon, Pentagon, Triangle, Square)and love. But the theme of mathematical constructs never seems far. Sometimes there is chanting such as the opening of Night all Night which contains the most instantly memorable moments on first listen. But this does get better with repeated listens. The eight bit sounding electronica of Antelope really does stand out after multiple listens. Peninsula sounds like it could fit on an Elbow album without any alteration at all really - its not up to their standards at times but its good nonetheless.

It may be a little too knowing at times and might just not have the wow factor to launch it into the mainstream. However, this is a little gem of a debut album which works as a pop album with a bit of thought and a lot of attention put behind it. Definitely worth checking out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A kaleidoscope of an album 25 Jun 2012
Format:Audio CD
I heard this without knowing anything about it, and instantly recognised the vocalist from Tunng. I quite liked Tunng at their best, but I always felt they had too many ideas going on at once and not all of them worked. A solo project from Sam Genders though, well, that could be worth investigating.

And so it proves. Diagrams has the same lyrical surrealism, the sense of experimentation, but delivers it all with more focus and polish and a more electronic direction.

Diagrams seems an apt name for the music, which is all about patterns and detail. Songs build from skittering drum loops and syncopated beats, stabs of strings and synth, repeated lyrics, until you could close your eyes and imagine the music visually, spiraling like a kaleidoscope.

That sounds a bit mathematical, but the songs are grounded by Genders' soft voice, like Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals without the Welsh accent. It gives the album warmth and personality, while the cryptic lyrics lend it a sense of mystery and hint of darkness. There are some strong songs here too, Night all Night being the one that I find myself singing while doing the washing up.

At nine tracks, the album wraps up without overstaying its welcome, and I hope that it isn't the last we hear
from Diagrams.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Black Light 11 Sep 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Never heard of Diagrams until this. Very good CD. Lovely tracks. Only fly in the ointment was the running time. 59+ minutes, of which 38 minutes were music and songs, but why have a final track with 21 minutes of run off? Was there some sort of artistic licence going on there? Didn't quite get that. Sorry.
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