Benjamin Diamond

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B enjamin Diamond (real name: Benjamin Cohen) is most famous for his collaboration with Alan Braxe and Thomas Bangalter (of Daft Punk fame) in the one-time band Stardust for the hit single Music Sounds Better With You back in 1997.

His new album CRUISE CONTROL will be out on October 27th 2008 on his label Diamondtraxx

He has already released two albums and one EP: (Diamond Traxx/Epic, 2000), Out Of Myself (!K7, 2005). Both albums are very different but are rated high in reviews. The first was made during the last bit of the French House craze led by Daft Punk, and is very electronic, partly under pressure of his record company at the time. The last one is more band-like, and could be described as friendly pop/rock, somewhat similar in sound to Phoenix, also from France.

Benjamin Diamond didn't randomly pick up his name. Just like the biggest diamonds, Benjamin has multiple facets: songwriter, programmer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, art director of his own label...and of course, singer of the worldwide hit Music sounds better with you. The Stardust adventure, hanging up high on a cotton cloud with Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk) and Alan Braxe, that was in 98, that's ten years that he gave up his glitter mask to be a pop star, a singer, an entertainer...Just picture the hassle for a marketing intern to figure out how to label him.
After lots of compromises on his first two albums Strange Attitude and Out of Myself, Benjamin Diamond releases his third effort Cruise Control without the help of a record company. Indie as fuck, as some of his American friends would say. Furiously independent, would say his mom. Subject to Control Freak attitude, totally assumed and claimed out loud, for Cruise Control, he still managed to let production to another, a big one, Paul Kendall. Does that say something to you? No? Just google that down and find out who PK is, producer of Goldfrapp's first joint, Depeche Mode mixer, half of Mute label...Benjamin always knew who to hang with. You want names? You can drop many: after Michel Gondry for the Stardust video, Gaspard Yurkievich for the clothes on Strange attitude, now you have Guy Peellaert for the cover of Cruise Control. I don't wanna brag or anything but this guy is a legend : he has painted all the legends of rock'n'roll (Bowie, the Stones but also the Taxi Driver and Short Cuts posters). Benjamin must be loving this, he's been a fan of Peelaert's art since he's a kid. He even made posters from his dad original edition of “Rock Dreams” to grace the walls of his rebel room back in 82. Twenty five years later, he gets his mug painted by his master for the cover of his third album Cruise Control. A title 100% US inspired, you would say. There's no such thing as cruise control here, just like Benjamin's music you might add. FYI, cruise control is that thing that allows you to relax and not care about the road on American cars.Just cruising in original version. Or in French: cruising in a pink convertible next to the sea, in the sun, the wind blowing in your hair with shades on.
What? Does it mean that this album's been made in cruise control, produced in the same mood as the previous one? Sure not! Easy baby, don't start misunderstanding, all of this is fiction. Benjamin is a story teller. Before music and his first Funk bands, he's been an assistant producer on movie sets. Cruise Control is his new flick where the Californian Dream is still alive, Los Angeles down the hall and Prince still at the top. And there you have exclusively a nice description to grace promotional posters : « Cruise control, or a succession of sung little stories, high and hedonists, down or world-weary, depending on the vibe you're in, just like in your real life. »
Little etymological reminder, or how Benjamin Cohen, his dad's son, former boss of Seuil and creator of L'Olivier publishing, became Benjamin Diamond. It's not that he thinks that by having a name like that he's worth a million in his mind, it's just that Marilyn used to sing “Diamonds are the girls best friend"...if you see what I'm saying. And to go on with the jewellery metaphors, I'd like to say that he's a bright guy who shines in his art.

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Source: lastfm


chillout, electronic, house


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