[sic] Magazine

Diamat – Being Is The Sum Of Appearing

Diamat is a collaborative electronica project comprising the trio of Attilio Bruzzone , Andrea Zangrandi and Christos Garmpidakis . These are among the leading exponents of downtempo IDM. Bruzzone will be well know to regular [sic] visitors as being a founder and mainstay of port-royal , an act that garners regular rave reviews here. Garmpidakis’ Dergar too has featured here. (links below)

Stomping sequencers, fizzing echoing guitars and odd twinkling melodies characterise this record. A mixture of great ideas and good ideas is a wonderful blueprint for albums generally. and is what we get here. No duff tracks. No filler. The ‘great’ stuff comes early. ‘Zraolcik’ is far and away my favourite track on the whole collection blending whimsical, child like melodics with driving beats. It is the albums second track, always great position for a kind of ‘hit’, particularly when the preceding opener is as strong and powerful as ‘I can love you only if you don’t love me’.

The duo of ‘Misunderstood’s are very royal . Familiar Bruzzone tropes appear everywhere. A swirling vaporous soundscape is established from which a pounding, driving rhythm will emerge. These tracks could have appeared on the last port-royal album Dying In Time without jolting the listener too much. Yet the more textural influence of Garmpidakis can be felt across these pieces too. Maria from Dalot even pops up on ‘Shane Vendrell’ lending some blurred, indistinct vocals a la MBV . I take four minutes trying to decide if she is looped or backwards before the track wrenches me out of my reverie and onto the dancefloor.

I am in strong favour of this collaborative approach. Electronica, like post rock, has been one of the most important developments of the last two decades. Many brilliant artists have emerged, many wonderful pieces of music but few truly great albums. How to nuance your work, sequence and sustain interest for fifty or so minutes? Difficult but made easier if you interact with other musicians, other peers. This Diamat album will please existing port-royal fans certainly but is much more than one of those band ‘side projects’ you feel obligated to buy. Even if Bruzzone is effectively helming this project Being Is The Sum Of Appearing is showing us another aspect of his music. Something like ‘Painkillers’ begins outside of the known port-royal universe before travelling back in. It is royal but from the outside looking in.

As a more mature music fan, you could say of the post punk and independent label (Eighties) vintage, you might wonder why I am so drawn to this style of music. I can only say that in much the same way that punk inspired and indie afforded opportunities to music makers that previously were restricted – so do today’s technologies. The capabilities of modern laptops and software’s allow artists to record at home, bypassing expensive studios.

It’s about giving creativity a platform.

Artists like Dergar and port-royal might not be the most obvious successors to Joy Division and Co and yet. Electronica could be the new post-punk.

Long raincoats have given way to Macintosh’s.

Dying In Time