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Diamond Mine CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 Mar. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Domino Records
  • ASIN: B004M5BJY0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,716 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Diamond Mine' is a unique and heartrending collaboration between Scottish Fence Collective boss and singer King Creosote and electronic talent and sound sculptor Jon Hopkins. Described by King Creosote as a "soundtrack to a romanticised version of a life lived in a Scottish coastal village", the record weaves in field recordings of Fife life, bike wheels, spring tides, tea cups and café chatter to produce a beautiful, unique and timeless album.

BBC Review

First, a little background. Kenny ‘King Creosote’ Anderson is a Fife-based singer-songwriter and patriarch figure of a loose conglomerate of folk-inspired musicians, the Fence Collective. Architect of a good three-dozen records since 1998, mostly self-released, but some appearing on bigger labels – see 2005’s KC Rules OK and 2007’s Bombshell, which saw the light on 679 Recordings – his style is so intimate, low-key, but often surprisingly affecting songs that accrue a real emotional weight.

His collaborator here on Diamond Mine is one Jon Hopkins, a graduate of London’s Royal College of Music who has worked on a couple of big projects recently: he contributed keyboard and sound effects to Coldplay’s last album, and collaborated with Brian Eno, composing material for the ambient pioneer’s 2010 album Small Craft on a Milk Sea. King Creosote has none of the stadium bombast of Coldplay, or the experimental tendencies of Eno – but all the same, this is a collaboration that makes sense. Both share a taste for a rather languid tempo, that of small-town life and the more tender, bittersweet emotions; and theirs is a pairing that’s complementary, Hopkins colouring in the spaces around Anderson’s wearied voice, guitar and woozy accordion.

It starts with a splash of such colour in the shape of First Watch, a field recording of a bustling café, spare piano slowly picking its way round the clink of cutlery and the counting out of change. This segues into John Taylor’s Month Away, which ponders the sorry lot of a sailor, "With shattered boyhood dreams / And not much sleep," and it’s rendered beautifully, strummed guitar and droning accordion slowly subsumed beneath watery ambience.

Aging, and its effects, is a common theme here: Bats in the Attic sees Anderson contemplating his greying temples over sparse drum pads and piano, while Running on Fumes finds him asking "So why do we bother with all this fighting / Especially at our age?" as Hopkins’ choral synths call a troubled note. You sense, though, that Anderson is the sort to sing a sad song to make himself feel better, and it all concludes with the serene Your Young Voice, which fits a familiar King Creosote mould: a paean to his daughter, sung tenderly and gently, to fade.

--Louis Pattison

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Big Jim TOP 100 REVIEWER on 28 Mar. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is one of those albums where the cover picture kind of gives the game away. Redolent of the small fishing villages on the East Neuk of Fife this album represents the sort of music you might hear a couple of guys playing in the corner, playing for themselves as much as anyone else, but knowing that the beauty in the songs has captured everyone's attention. Hopkins' lush electronic ambience and keyboards backs up Kenny "King Creosote" Anderson's crystal clear vocals - his voice has never sounded better by the way. With no more than some gentle strumming and accordian work on top of that, this is a minimalist, almost sombre album that somehow lights up your day as the ethereal beauty shines through. I am given to understand that there are reasons for it being quite a short album (in today's terms at least) but as they say, you should leave them wanting more which is certainly the case here. So hit the "repeat" button and enjoy again
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In a year that didn't see the release of a true, all-time classic album in the shape of PJ Harvey's "Let England Shake" this would have been a real contender for album of the year. An unlikely collaboration between electronica composer John Hopkins and Fife's finest; Kenny Anderson, known as King Creosote produces magical, touching and beautiful results that yields more and more of its charms with repeated listening. Lyrically the album explores the lives of fishermen on the unforgiving Fife coast, exploring the relationship between the land and the ocean and the difficulties of a life spent exploiting the sea.

Musically the album achieves a seamless link between Anderson's unashamedly lo fi instrumentation (he is a master accordion player and competent acoustic guitarist) and the atmospheres and soundscapes created by Hopkins. We start with a beautifully realised soundscape combining snippets of conversation with a building electronic atmosphere that segues wonderfully into the gorgeous "John Taylor's Month Away". Put on the headphones and listen to seagulls, waves rolling against a rocky shore all of them taking on musical qualities against Anderson's beautifully recorded strumming.

By some distance the finest quality of this tremendous album however is Anderson's vocal performance. Rarely have I found male vocals as beautiful and affecting as Anderson's and on this album you will find many of his finest recorded moments. On the hearbreakingly lovely "Bats in the Attic" Anderson's vocals set against understated piano chords, some subtle drums and reverb which perfectly holds everything together the vocals soar and intertwine with beautiful harmonies in a way that few could master. An album then of beautiful components, bound together by wonderful songwriting and arrangements that still manages to surpass the sum of its parts. A rare occurrence indeed and one to be treasured. Highly recommended.
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By Jago Wells VINE VOICE on 2 April 2011
Format: Audio CD
What a gorgeous piece of music. I've been a long time devotee of King Creosote and The Fence Collective and was a wee bit disappointed by Kenny (KC's) last album Flick the V's. Alas...haven't heard the Burns Unit offering yet. This album which I downloaded this morning has been on constant play. It made an instant impression on me which is unusual. Kenny's languid vocals perfectly complimenting the instrumentals of Jon Hopkins. It's a dreamy,melodic and totally mellow.As another reviewer suggests,A perfect chill out album to soundtrack a weekend evening.It was great to see the album featured on the frontpage of The Guardian recently. Both musicians deserve far wider recognition but such is the dumbing down of UK culture this century that it's highly unlikely that either will ever achieve this.Ahh well...the wider public's loss is the Fence devotees gain!
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I heard a track from this album by chance on late night radio. Checked out the album on a streaming service and ended up buying the vinyl. The album itself sounds to me like a rainy day in a small Scottish village. It's very easy to hear samples of the album - even the whole thing in full - so I'll keep the material review to a minimum. This is mainly a wonderful, short album that runs through as one piece on side 1, but seems to wind down early on side 2 as if ideas ran out/momentum was lost which is a real shame. Side 2 although only holding three tracks plays as two pieces. The second track fades rather than segues and the last track feels like it doesn't quite belong, or doesn't quite fit into the sequence. This is a shame because if the momentum and feel of side 1 could have held up for side 2 this would have been quite some remarkable album, it's still fairly stunning to me, but that's carried largely by side 1.

The vinyl & packaging.

It sounds very nice with surprisingly deep bass in places. Mine may be a little off centre on side 2. One thing that seems odd is that the record seemed to click a bit more on second play (dust?) and a lot after a clean which could be that I didn't clean properly or that there was some residue in the groove. There may be a brief part here and there that sounds a bit off - cutting or pressing or tracking I don't know, but they are very brief.

Custom labels on the record look nice, and the record is in a poly inner sleeve, which is a nice touch for care as the record is slid in and out of the inner. The is also a lyric sheet included - I've yet to figure out exactly what Your Own Spell is about - feel free to comment and let me know. Sleeve is standard rather than gatefold.
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