Experiemental dance musicians walk a fine line. On one hand, there’s a drive to push the limits of electronic invention; but then, you can’t ignore the beat. It’s a limitation to a physical, often emotional matrix. Diamond Version embody this conflict moreso than most. The duo, formed of German producers Byetone and Alva Noto, make driving, intelligent floor-fillers that are darkly ecstatic and drain the potential of this vernacular. Earlier this year, when we premiered the vortex-ish video for EP3’s tectonic track ‘Turn On Tomorrow’ the duo told us the following:
"At Diamond Version we’re not just dedicated to your life. We’re fanatical about it. We want to see you thrive. Which is why we create each and every one of our groundbreaking solutions with your life in mind. Our innovative products drive performance, improve collaboration and empower you to set your life apart."
Diamond Version’s fourth EP, titled EP4, is premiered exclusively on Dazed Digital today. It continues their exploration of dance music along fault lines which commenced with 2012’s EP1 and will conclude later this year with EP5. ‘Live Young’ teams robotic vocals with a thumping industrial beat, while ‘Get Yours’ takes the maximalism of electrohouse and layers it with a gentle negative pull. You feel like you’re in the middle of two giant magnets –oscillating in two directions, blood quickening with every whirring thump.
Dazed Digital: You've been known to include projections of corporate slogans in your live performances - are you positing yourself as the antidote?
Diamond Version: Yes, in a way. We grew up in a world free of advertising. Nowadays we cannot avoid it and so we try to use it and make it material to play with in the same way advertising plays with our attention and emotions...
DD: You have a song on the EP entitled 'When Performance Matters'. Is this a reference to a difficulty that electronic musicians sometimes find?
Diamond Version: We haven't heard this kind of question in a long time. The title doesn't refer to this and we do not really see a problem with this. 'Performing' is an important means to 'transmit' energy without falling back into a more conventional behaviour with traditional instruments. Our instruments are electronic equipment and computers and they ask for a new way of performing.
DD: Do you see a narrative arc in the EP series - and if so, how does EP4 fit into this?
Diamond Version: There is no narrative; rather, we want to offer a wide spectrum and surprise ourselves.
DD: You recently played in Reykjavik. Did you go to the Blue Lagoon?
Diamond Version: Yes, of course – after spending half of our fee at the entrance, we spent the other half at the bar in the pool! We strongly recommend supporting the Icelandic economy!
DD: I read you're collaborating with vocalists on a forthcoming project. Not asking you to give the game away – but who's your dream vocalist to collaborate with, dead or alive?
Diamond Version: We could imagine working with a software that could provide a spectrum of voices outlined by vocalists like Klaus Nomi, Eric Burdon, Captain Beefheart, Roy Orbison, Stina Nordenstam, or even a classical counter tenor like Bejun Mehta.
EP4 is released on Mute on May 6