Having never heard of Paper Diamond before, the Wavesight EP was my first exposure to his surprisingly deep collection of work. The Jeffrees label has had some quality releases on it thus far, but this is (so far) one that has given me the strongest urge to throw money at the artist in any way possible. Paper Diamond has delivered a short but sweet EP in the form of Wavesite, giving just the right amount of content that leaves the listener begging for more. He combines pop and bass in a way that compromises the integrity and quality of neither. It’s the logical conclusion to the unison of mainstream and subculture sounds many artists seem to be moving towards to but haven’t quite been able to achieve.
From the moment it begins, Turn the Lights Off is a treat for the ears, hooking the listener with some great sound mixing and beautiful synth echoes. (As much as I hate to tell you to listen to this in headphones, try to get a quality pair just to feel the sound sweeping around the inside of your skull. It’s quite the experience.) I hesitate to compare him to Dillon Francis, because that’s not where his sound is coming from nor where it seems to be going. However, this track in particular employs a familiar hundred-and-ten bpm, moombahton-esque groove. The vocalist here is a perfect addition to the track, lending an added smooth, almost r&b inspired punch without taking attention away from the intricacies of the rest of the song.
With AirLift, the only purely instrumental track on the EP, Paper Diamond once again hooks the listener with a startlingly intricate opening riff. There are many musical lines layered here, but not one sound becomes muddied by another. The sub-bass is perfectly sculpted to rattle around your insides, contrasting beautifully with the quasi-chiptune synths echoing overtop of a barebones (but effective) drop. It’s a track very much in transit; like movement and feeling in the air, as the name so implies.
Can We Go Up teases at the very edges of dubstep without ever turning into a lurching halftime beast. It’s probably the least sonically complex song, but it’s the catchiest one that will fit nicely into any aggressive, bass-heavy set. Again, vocals lend without overpowering the track, and instrumentals are wisely left to their own devices, creating a song that builds itself into a roaring finish.
Paper Diamond excels at setting a sonic atmosphere through the way the sculpts his songs alone. Wavesight is sexy without being explicit, heavy without dragging down the sound, and unified in sound without any one song sounding like a carbon copy of another. His description implies that there are hundreds of tracks just waiting to be unleashed to the masses. Is this the case? The wait for new content is definitely worth it, as if the EP achieves nothing else it does leave the listener begging for more.