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Diamond in the Rough

So you get one more dude in flash sneakers and a sideways ball cap waving his arms around a switchboard and swerving with the lights and the beats. He wants you to dance, wants your motion to syncopate the rhythms that his gesticulations beckon, to sweat, crystallize and break within four bars. And he wants you to do it again, and again and again. You may ask yourself why get caught up in these Rorschach ripples of synth-twitch revelry and bass under pressure, waiting to be carved away, pared down to that metamorphic ego? Simple: Paper Diamond is the jeweler. 

Colorado-based Paper Diamond welds festive touring tools from his time as bassist for Pnuma Trio’s organic electronica, to playing and producing under his new moniker with Derek Vincent Smith’s Pretty Lights label. Levitate, Paper Diamond’s debut album, showcases that mountain sound with rumbling bass and slip-slide dramatization that feels like origami skis escaping an avalanche. But precise production seeps through tracks like “Snowfall,” a soft come-upper with an ambient tow-lift. At other end of the spectrum, “From Now Till…” features tendered samples of expensive taste over whistle-pulsing pressure.

Paper Diamond is another talented switchboard artist trying to help you dance — cut it out, fold it up, get down.

Paper Diamond plays with Minnesota at 8 pm Thursday, April 12, at McDonald Theatre; $15 adv; $18 door.