Diagrams: Black Light – review

(Full Time Hobby)

The brains behind Diagrams is former Tunng frontman Sam Genders, who spent the last three years working in a primary school and extricating himself from an emotionally "dark place". Fittingly, Black Light is a departure from Tunng's folktronica: Genders has mostly jettisoned the folk, and retained the tronica, yielding an album similar in spirit to Hot Chip and Moloko. The sound is precision-tooled – all brittle beats and loping basslines – with Genders's sweet, multi-layered vocals imparting the human touch. Human? If anything, he sounds all too fallible, sketching intimate scenes as if speaking to himself: "In the morning light I was baking up bread in the afterglow of a long night spent in your motorcade of intense red words." Cavity-wall insulation is provided by guitar, trombone and strings, giving the end result a warm, melodic sheen. Both accessible and experimental – check out the off-kilter jazz creation Appetite – this album is a real winter warmer.


Caroline Sullivan

The GuardianTramp

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