Oxford-based musician Michael Diamond’s new EP, Silk Road EP, serves as a distillation of this young producer’s divergent interests in genres as varied as Jazz, Ambient, World Music, and Electronic. The cross-pollination of influences and ideas feels especially fitting considering its release via German label Sa’lin Records, a label which advocates for a holistic artistic experience for each of its releases, rooted in the intersection between visual art, poetry, and music.
B-side opener, “Glistening Currents”, unfolds according to its own internal dream logic–– each element fusing together in remarkably idiosyncratic, yet unusually precise and awe-inspiring ways. Keeping in line with his jazz background, the track has several phases, the first being a kind of dark, echo-laden breakbeat rhythm, before evolving into a dubby, synth-washed Jazz-House odyssey with jittery, overlapping percussion. The percussion, working in counterpoint to the spacey keys and ambient flourishes, keeps the track alive and constantly evolving.
Diamond displays a remarkable knack for keeping things fresh while never stepping too far afield, wherein the disparate elements would ultimately grow stale or feel disjointed. Diamond intends for listeners to read Áine Kim Kennedy’s accompanying album-sleeve poetry while they listen. With its cryptic imagery and allusions to things like both artist’s Asian identity and history, the answers provided may not be exactly clear. Together, they hint at the impossibility of ever truly arriving at some grand conclusion about the nature of whatever we seek to understand. The track feels like that statement in musical form–– a destination always just out of reach, ultimately rendered insignificant by the magnitude and mysticism of the journey itself.