Rainbow Arabia Boys and Diamonds

Rainbow Arabia Boys and Diamonds
Cologne, Germany's Kompakt Records is renowned for a few things ― the advent of microhouse, their celebrated Total and Pop Ambient series ― but they certainly aren't known for their eclectic roster. That's why Boys and Diamonds, the debut from Rainbow Arabia, fits into the Kompakt family like a lap-steel at a Superpitcher concert. Musically falling somewhere between M.I.A. and Fever Ray, the L.A. husband-and-wife duo approach their songs in a surprisingly liberal and immaculate manner. Influenced by Middle Eastern and African music on a surface level, the songs from Boys and Diamonds are structured more like remixes than secular Arabic pop. "Papai" and "Sequenced" show vocalist Tiffany Preston's unbridled wail and tempered cool-rap battling for screen time, while "Without You" and "Jungle Bear" find keyboardist Danny Preston playing off anaemic beats and cannoned rhythms. Boys and Diamonds shows a trend in high-concept, well-sculptured dance music, one that even the most traditional techno-ists, like Kompakt Records, can get behind. (Kompakt)