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Album Review: Diode & Rick Holland – The King Krill

Introducing the sensationally unusual debut album from the Dalston duo, Rick Holland and Old man Diode present ‘The King Krill’ impending the March 2013 release date. Following on from their pre-recorded collaborative tracks ‘Still Silver’ and ‘Open Blue’, both of which feature exquisitely enriching vocals from Chris James and Beth Rowley, their 8-tracked entity is intense, dark and vibey.

Recorded on WW Records, the Diode-founded East London label, this collaboration moulds Rick Holland’s lyrical brilliance with the bass sounds and beats of Diode. Together they’re pushing a new generation of music which overlays the power of poetry onto individualistic, supersonic sounds. This experimental genre slots confidently into the emerging zeitgeist of contemporary production and undeniably, owns something unique. If you appreciate that alluring, irregular fizz from a plethora of dance sounds, accompanied by enigmatic melodies, ‘The King Krill’ personifies it. The two dedicated talents fuse together after ten years collaborating to create a new music lovechild of heady, hazy, bass-laced electronica, laden with expressive lyrics and featuring an amalgamation of raw talent.

This album is mind consuming, fascinating and addictive. I can guarantee you’ll have to constantly replay it fully absorb every track’s potential. There are flavours of a de-commercialized Clair Macguire’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’; deeply intense, pulsating and charming, the identifiable jazz involvement of Andrew Plummer and inputs from multi-instrumentalist contributors.

The album’s evolution begins with an intriguingly dark narrative, a bouncy pace and idolizes the force of female vocals. Track 1 ‘Love Parade’ featuring I am Fya, exerts huge presence and attitude, whilst the sequel track ‘Order’ starring the iconic vocals of Onallee, has a clarified urgency throughout the infectious, fizzy beat. ‘Still Silver’ soon sets the scene of restrained dark magic, establishing ticking electronica, muted melodies and of course Chris James’ evocative voice. This track is an absolute must-have if you’re a sucker for catchy, hypnotic music culture. It unifies beauty and menace in a single notion, endorsed by a 5-minute black and white piece of cinema.

Each track is extremely original, offering an intensely individual experience to every listener. The beauty of the poet, music-maker unison is their ability to empower a narrative.  ‘Stink’ has a Faithless-esque vibe, with conversational vocals in a thick deep constant, layered on to the undulating electronic crescendos of the background music. The track ‘Rise Again’ teases with the idea of a theatrical composition, with spooky choral melodies and a thick atmospheric aura. The album ends on a tangy, dynamic note, with a full foreground of synthesizer and dramatic contrapuntal layers. Overall ‘The King Krill’ is in no way shy of originality or expressionism; it encompasses a range of volumes and appealing to an even wider range of moods. It seems Holland and Diode are due to be an evolving force within the industry, possessing huge ambition, innovative methodologies and integrating creative technologies. We avidly await the next sensation this duo will conjure up next…

Photo credit: Charlie Campbell

- Alix Blankson


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