The KDMS
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The KDMS

Brighton, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | INDIE

Brighton, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Electronic Funk

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"Chic Freaks"

The lineup: Kathy Diamond (vocals) and Max Skiba (music).

The background: It's weird how disco, once unarguably the unofficial soundtrack of the nation, has now become a cult curio for arthouse hipsters. Look at this poster/image of the KDMs, who comprise Polish DJ Max Skiba and London soul girl Kathy Diamond – it's not a million miles, typographically and in terms of aesthetic and atmosphere, from this one for German industrial metal band and fellow acronym-lovers KMFDM. Really weird.

The duo, who have recorded a cover of Madonna's Give Me All Your Luvin' and been remixed by Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip and Metro Area's Morgan Geist, have their debut album Kinky Dramas & Magic Stories released on Berlin-based label Gomma. We know Germany is the home of mass-appeal, mass-produced machine-driven dance music but let's be honest: this is a tiny European base for an increasingly marginalised genre. The classic disco era, too, had an underground circuit, with its independent labels and loft parties, running parallel to the mainstream scene, but now disco is a small-scale operation, despite the frequent declarations that it is about to enjoy a commercial rebirth. There was a moment in 2008 when we thought Hercules and Love Affair were going to spark a new disco wave, then again in 2009 with Shena and last year there was a similar desire for wish-fulfillment around Tensnake. Fact is, if you're talking proper big disco – not house, not techno, but disco – hits, in the last 30 years only Kylie Minogue has managed one, with Spinning Around. Disco has become, like punk, a series of codified practices the general public struggle to accept as anything beyond, at best, camp nostalgia and, at worst, kitsch karaoke.

The KDMs' record probably won't change that state of affairs, but it's worth mentioning here because it's a solid latterday disco album. Not a post-disco album – it doesn't do anything with the form or take it anywhere new, it reiterates why we fell in love with it in the first place. It knows about the subtle ravishment of shivery strings and the rhapsodic rhythmic guitar of Nile Rodgers, the bass gets slapped to within an inch of its life and there are cowbells like you wouldn't believe. Being us, we're going to complain that Kathy Diamond's vocals are a bit "soulful", a bit grunty and earthbound, a bit her from M People – disco was the one dance music genre where over(t)ly passionate singing was rarely privileged, whereas the rhythm, arrangement, production and song were.
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What else? Oh yes, the titles are frequently terrible, self-help manual cliches (Never Stop Believing) or ungainly and verbose (Something's Eatin' Me), missing the point that disco was about the elegant expression of ineffable rapture and heartache. But when they get it right – opener High Wire, for example, is as lush yet coolly restrained as Diana, the album La Ross made for the Chic Organisation – the KDMs make disco seem less like a museum piece and more like a viable contemporary genre. Wonderman is a total Chic-fest. Tonight is a testament to whoever's responsible for the superb slick musicianship. This is electronic funk, but not quite the streamlined sequencer robo-disco of I Feel Love. It sounds as though human beings handled the funkily propulsive bass, and it's all the better for that. We're not sure if the purpose of this project is to remind us of the glory of disco, to remind us that when it's done right, it is the music of the spheres, to propose themselves for the disco pantheon or simply continue the legacy, but what the hell, we're ready to go Baccara (sorry) to the future with them.

The buzz: "They are the future of disco" – vulturehound.co.uk.

The truth: Yes, sir, they can boogie.

Most likely to: Make their funk the Chic funk.

Least likely to: Declare that disco sucks.

What to buy: Kinky Dramas & Magic Stories is out now on Gomma.

File next to: Chic, Jupiter, Shena, M People.

Links: gomma.de/the-kdms.

Tuesday's new band: Blood Diamonds. - The Guardian


"Kiny Dramas & Magic Stories Review"

The KDMS is the most recent collaborative project from nu-disco's sultry British songstress Kathy Diamond. Back in 2007 she released (under Afro-house maestro Maurice Fulton's patronage) a shiny yet subdued album for Permanent Vacation, but since then her most iconic moments have been guest vocal spots on little gems such as Aeroplane's "Whispers," Kaine's "Love Saves the Day" or Mario & Vidis' "In My System." This time around, she has befriended Polish producer Maximilian Skiba, mostly known for his Teutonic tech-house 12-inches for Boxer Recordings. Together as The KDMS (get it?) they create the kind of non-ironic, let's-slap-that-bass-like-there-is-no-tomorrow disco that isn't "nu" or "old," just slightly dated and timeless at the same time.

Much of Kinky Drama and Magic Stories falls into the middle-of-the-disco-dance-floor category on which the tempo is never amped up enough to fully lose yourself. This is displayed on various songs such as "Something's Eatin' Me," "Never Stop Believing," "Part Time Lovers" and "Your Love is Right," which would all be rather inconsequential if it wasn't for Diamond's appearances, which save the day thanks to her quirky vocal inclinations.

Thankfully, there are enough moments to make the Kinky Drama and Magic Stories trip worthwhile. "Wonderman"'s blend of piano-led melody and frenetic cowbells or the strings fest that feverishly closes "Circles" are hard not to succumb to, just like main single "Tonight" with its uplifting chorus (even included is the Morgan Geist version as an extra cut, which adds a more upbeat feel to the track's original brilliance). "Killer" has a more percussive, slightly tribal vibe, while "No Sad Goodbyes" is an off-kilter slo-motion house number based on lethargic handclaps, fake strings and subtle organs. Despite its somber allure and slower tempo, it remains the album's most accomplished and exhilarating six minutes, even though it can't do away with the fact more kink and more drama would have been more than welcomed overall. - Resident Advisor


Discography

· Album
KINKY DRAMAS & MAGIC STORIES (Gomma) / 2012
THE NEW LP (Upcomming) / 2016

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio


The KDMS is an international supergroup – or rather super-duo. It's first half is Max Skiba,
Polish native, Silesian-bred electronic wunderkind and massively talented producer and
musician well known for his solo releases on labels like Prins Thomas Internasjonal records or
Under The Shade. The second: Kathy Diamond, prolific British singer, the true disco diva for the
21st century (also known for her solo work with Maurice Fulton on Permanent Vacation). 


The project is currently taking the world by storm through a string of hit singles: The KDMS
combine hypnotic rhythms with addictive pop melodies carrying clever lyrics – a rare
achievement in today's formulaic world of club-inspired pop music. Singles "Never Stop
Believing" or "Tonight" are definitely bound to please for more than one season, successfully
fusing a sort of Slavic sensibility and ambiguity with a typically British sophistication and
peculiar sense of humor.


The band was unexpectedly supported by artists like Snoop Dogg (on his one and only disco
DJ mix "Snoopalicius") and the prolific band Hot Chip (several remixes by band-members,
notably Alexis' Taylor “Wonderman” cover). The KDMS was also remixed by disco day one
pioneer and legend Nicky Siano (The Gallery, Studio54), Soft Rocks, Morgan Geist (Storm
Queen), Nick McCarthy (Franz Ferdinand) among others.


The duo recently completed their long-awaited second album “The New Old Normal” (release
to be announced soon, cover art above). The first single “Terminal One” will be out in autumn
via KingOfKong records. Be prepared for a new show full of deep new music!


Darshan Jesrani / Metro Area about the upcoming album:

"I'm getting late 70s radio AOR/soft rock vibes from these songs! The references are great –
late 70s strong female leads. I don't think anyone has really explored this."


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Band Members