Before you start this album, wash your hands and feet and change into all black or all white, because entering into this soundscape feels like walking on hallowed ground.
Hailing from Oakland’s Dimond District, Dimond Saints are a production duo formed by local producers and artists An-Ten-Ae and Releece. The two have just released their first album, Prism In The Dark, which stands out among today’s electronic music as unabashedly experimental, dark and different. Quite simply, this album is an achingly-beautiful work of art, and one of the best I have reviewed in the course of my association with Noiseporn.
The duo are taking the year by storm with this exceptional debut album. Going Solo has dubbed their style “Brooding noir&B,” a description we adore. The album is a bipolar soundscape of otherworldly buzzing, clanging, glittering cosmic rises and vast empty echoes. I can’t choose an adjective to describe it: transporting, magnificent, larger-than-life, enthralling, masterful…none of these do it justice. “Innocence” employs the velvet voice of Yaarrohs (whose bio on SoundCloud reads “Naked under the full moon. Full time magician, part time panther-” which is exactly how this track makes me feel), breaking your heart as she begs “Nobody knows you but me, Baby don’t leave me” amidst echoes like drips off stalactites in the cave of her hollowed heart. “Sing” immediately keys you in to the diversity of this album, beginning with a bounce that gets deeper and more layered as the track progresses. This song is sinister and tech-heavy, as if the boys are up to no good in the cyber-hood.
“Hirohito,” named after a former Emperor of Japan, transports you to the snowy battle-ground of O-ren Ishii’s final tango with The Bride (if you haven’t seen Kill Bill, let this be inspiration enough). Distinctly oriental, wind instruments play over a building bass as Dimond Saints invite you to imagine yourself as the wielder of a Hattori Hanzo samauri sword, slowly facing off with a worthy adversary. “Touch The Sky” comes off guttural with strange choking sounds, as if you were at a dentist and she asked you to open wide and say “ah!” Despite the abrasive vocals, the sound below is symphonic and soothing. This track is significantly more lyric-heavy, like “Innocence,” but with a much more insidious feel, as though monsters are convening about your fate.
You’d think Yaarrohs is a fairy princess, the way these glistening sounds surround her tracks like glitter in your hair. “Find A Way” is distinctly more mainstream electronic than the rest, yet still maintains that beautiful darkness Dimond Saints seem to have mastered. “Way Down” is exactly what it sounds like, large and foreboding, so get ready to delve deep into the caverns of bass. This song is like a bad vision in a shaman’s tent, wailing medicine men chanting to capture your soul. If “Way Down” is a fall, “Kalidescope” is a rise. The song is trance-like, playful and distinctly electronic.
Clearly, I could go on, but I’d rather save the last six songs as a mystery for you. Let us know where Prism In The Dark takes you: