Both Kenny Anderson and the Fife-based collective he represents and manages under the Fence Records label have enjoyed popularity in the folk community, regularly contributing line-ups to the old Green Man bill- but of late it's seemed that many journalists and commentators in the mainstream have taken note of this rather special community, and in particular it's flagship artist. I can remember going to Green Man 2003 and seeing Fife based artist after artist, collaborations between so many musicians. Kenny Anderson, better known as King Creosote, must have played upwards of 20 gigs that weekend, including a rare show with his brother Gordon's Lone Pigeon live band.

Kenny's spun an inspiring career, founded on DIY ethics and communal spirit. His first two albums proper were home-recorded and are lovely affairs. These were surrounded by numerous CD releases, collections of demos- loose, frequently beautiful. Here was an artist who was baring all, remaining humble, in embrace of music's creation and its release to an audience. The entire Fife scene had a romanticism about it- and in the years since I first discovered of it, King Creosote has gone on to record proper studio albums, to mixed success. I'd fallen in love with the home recorded sound, the imperfections, tape hiss and lovingly recorded dictaphone sounds. Whilst I respected the notion of this homemade artist recording in 'proper' studios and garnering the adoration of the mainstream press, I've increasingly found myself alienated in these tightened recordings. How lovely then that I find this collaborative record between King Creosote and electronic guru Jon Hopkins, seemingly low-fi, delicately, comfortably.

Diamond Mine comprises 7 tracks of simply rendered folk songs. Acoustic fingerpicking set against some very subtle electronic arrangements and foundsound. I say "subtle", for the synth work here has the modesty of Kieran Hebden's collaborations with Steve Reid- never assuming or overbearing, but providing the slightest complement to the song at hand. This is foremostly a King Creosote record, and the songs here wouldn't seem out of place in the artist's early work. That may seem dismissive, but I found this record just so unpretentiously lovely. And that comfort with itself is far more prevalent on records like 'Kenny and Beths Musakal Boatrides' than the Domino-released 'Flick the Vs'. Indeed, an old song 'Bubbles', is here reimagined- casting off acoustic guitars for Autechre-esq microbeats. Again, modesty pervades and songwriting is only ever supported by the electronic work underneath.

Elsewhere, the bittersweet 'Running on Fumes' offers King Creosote's lulled guitar work at its best. Kenny's accordion enjoys an obligatory blast on the rising 'John Taylor's Month Away', but the album saves its finest moment for last. 'First Watch' is a delicate piano-led coda, whilst sourced recordings mutter overhead. People speak, things are arranged- the world goes by its business, as chords fall. 'Diamond Mine' is a strange record, but perhaps just what it's title suggests- early acoustic numbers are roughened gems, raw from discovery- but later tracks like 'Bats in the Attic' are more composed and polished. It's a mixed bag sonically, but is frequently beautiful and performed with a gentility and ease that has been missing in King Creosote's recent work. Diamond Mine is a record which sets the past against the present, and goes some way to finding a common ground between King Creosote's earlier, looser recordings and the more recent pop-inflicted sounds he's embraced. As such, it sits firmly at ease in his catalogue, and represents my favourite record of his in many years.

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