Discover a gem as King Creosote brings his diamond mine to city Each year the Mercury Prize shortlist throws up a couple of entries which appear to be there as token acknowledgements that there is a life outside the might of the majors.
These can include anything from Indian fusion to devotional choral work and there's usually at least one representative from the category loosely defined as 'folk'. In 2011 that poisoned chalice fell to Diamond Mine, a collaboration between King Creosote and Jon Hopkins, which I felt should have won ahead of PJ Harvey's Let England Shake.
On the surface Diamond Mine looks like a recipe for disaster: a link-up between an almost superhumanly prolific Scottish folk singer and a sometime Brian Eno collaborator more known for his work in esoteric dance production. What could possibly go right? As it turned out, absolutely everything slotted into place like a dream.
Over the course of his career, Fife's Kenny Anderson (aka King Creosote) has released just under 50 albums in addition to setting up a label for like-minded artists, the Fence Collective, which provided a starting point for, among others, KT Tunstall.
Delving into the corners of that vast repertoire, Anderson chose songs whose mood and themes had a unified feel and with Hopkins providing a warm bed of lush electronics and a smattering of 'found' sound collages Diamond Mine is a gem of a record. A year after its release, it remains a truly beautiful and engaging piece of music, with Anderson's affecting Scottish burr making the whole project sound unique and quite exotic.
King Creosote and Jon Hopkins perform Diamond Mine in Vicar Street tonight.