Music: Diamond Mine by King Creosote and Jon Hopkins ****
English electronica musician Jon Hopkins has been in a rich vein of form of late.
Towards the end of last year, he delivered the acclaimed soundtrack to the Monsters sci-fi movie, as well as a compelling collaboration with Brian Eno (the album Small Craft on a Milk Sea is quietly beautiful) and now his sporadic work with King Creosote finally sees the light of day.
The Scottish balladeer, of the Fence Collective (known to the taxman and his mum as Kenny Anderson), knows his way around a heartstring-pulling tune and there are a handful of those here.
Chief among them is John Taylor's Month Away -- a moving account of a commercial fisherman's labours off the Aberdeen coast. Anderson's distinctive Scottish burr and Hopkins' deceptively simple soundscape combine to make this a song to live long in the memory.
At just seven tracks, Diamond Mine favours slow-burning quality over abundance -- and the sense that each song has been a labour of love for these very different musicians is clear.
Hopkins impresses once more, but it is Anderson who really shines -- his story-telling qualities and way with words recalls the peerless Robert Wyatt.
Burn it: John Taylor's Month Away; Bats in the Attic
Day & Night