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Synth EP Review: "Low Score Phoenix" by Diamondcat

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


Diamondcat’s Low Score Phoenix EP is a lush, complex slice of unique, ear-catching synth sounds with strong percussion and a sense of depth that permeates all of the tracks.

“Low Score Phoenix” kicks off with wildly whirling arpeggios carried on glittering, thick synths that dance into the track over deep bass pulses. The solid drums play a slightly broken beat as full, warm synths rise in ethereal waves and quick, glowing arpeggios arc upwards. A wind sweeps through the music before an open-sounding segment with a unique drum sound and flashes of elevated, flickering synth.

The beat subdivides and the drums shape the sonic space as delicate sounds whisper softly in the background. A rising tide of metallic notes jangles into the track carrying an intertwining synth pattern and an indistinct vocal sample that feels vaguely unsettling. Synth chords with a subtly jagged edge climb in before a break to percussion and high, nervous drifts of shiny sound.

An ethereal flow of sound and a twisted, distorted vocal sample bring “Drive Thru Daiquiri” into being along with harshly glistening synths that move in wandering patterns that writhe through the music. Massive drums pound out a steady, driving beat and the sharp-edged, dense, medium-high synth carries a wriggling melodic pattern. An angular, dynamic series of notes with a cutting feeling move in and out over the throbbing, heavy beat.

There’s a crescendo as the slicing synth line moves over clouds of glimmering, vaguely chiming synth that shift and slide in the background. Shining, sweeping lines of airy sound dance over swirling synth clouds and vocal samples twist and add a unique element to the music while the beat adds form and energy.

There’s an aggressive guitar-like growl that adds another layer to the rich sonic mix and a distorting, twisting synth line oscillates through the music as those vocal samples also move in waves. An evolving pulse of hollow, roundg, twisting line oscillates through the music as those vocal samples also move in waves. An evolving pulse of hollow, round and almost xylophone like notes leaps in and dances out into silence.

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“Not A Cult” begins with a slowly revolving arpeggio carried on a synth with a distorted string-like sound and a shivering line of oscillating, moving notes. A slow drumbeat and a lost, distorted vocal sample also move over the bursts of quavering notes.The beat becomes stronger as a squelching, wriggling line of synth slides into the track. A high, fragile line of distant keyboard-like synth adds a lambent feeling over the harshness of the squelching noises.

There’s a break into shimmering, glittering synths that call out in slowly rising, aching lines and a hi hat taps in the background. More trembling sounds shiver into the track and the muffled twist of vocals also shifts over the waves of bass. There’s a segment where slow synth arpeggios spin out over the stuttering drums below. Distorted, trembling notes move over the glow and shine of the interlocking parts while the drums keep up their relentless beat.

Open notes with a sound reminiscent of mallet instruments start “Infinite Universe Soundsystem.” They’re joined by elevated, sparkling synths and a solid drum throb along with a sound that cuts in, not quite screaming. Interlocking synths move in a medium-high, shimmering line and sparkle in starry glints over the drum pulse. Washes of jangling, metallic sound skitter as the track returns to lush, interwoven synth sounds that wildly mix as a medium-low, resonant synth vibrates through and fades away.

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