Countdown to CounterPoint: Paper Diamond


From time to time, an amazing artist pops up out of nowhere pumping out new and fresh beats. The sounds they produce leave you wondering how they do it and why you didn’t know about them before.  This is how it was when I discovered Paper Diamond. Along with a plethora of newbies and veterans in the electronic genre, Paper Diamond will be performing at the inaugural CounterPoint Music Festival this September 27-29th in Atlanta, Ga.

He says that “paper diamond” means turning something simple, like paper, into something completely different and complex, yet still retaining the initial simplicity. He translates this into music by taking ordinary sounds and turning them into complex riffs, beats and bass, layered and layered at just the right times. His real name is Alex Botwin and he is also known as Alex B. from The Pnuma Trio, an electronica, acid jazz band known for their forward-thinking and scene-setting music. While there isn’t much information about whether the group is still together or not, they are still on 1320 Records list of artist. According to an interview with Denver Westword, Botwin started making music at the prime age of 19. Determined to push the boundaries, this sort of confidence is a key in success:

“It’s also a lot easier for me to put out content and the music and videos we want to get out because there’s a clear path. I know what I want to do with the project and what kind of music I’m working on.” – Paper Diamond

In today’s ever-expanding world of electronic music, Paper Diamond has been able to create a distinct sound of his own. One of my biggest pet peeves is when artists use vocals in a way that doesn’t work with the beat or song. However, Paper Diamond seems to have mastered this with his extensive use of lyrics in his newer songs.

Accompanying this, Botwin is known for his exemplary beat-making skills. His previous musical background in hip-hop and electronica has overqualified him for the role he has now taken. The beats he produces, especially live, is a spectacular display of showmanship and talent. Paper Diamond says he creates dance and bass music, but the interesting thing is that he never lets the bass take over the dance or vice versa.

Paper Diamond not only produces and performs, but has his own store in Boulder, Elm & Oak, which functions as a record label, design shop and clothing line. This is where Paper Diamonds influence goes beyond just music. He uses this store to promote art, music and  skateboarding in the community because there is no real driving force promoting those scenes in Boulder.

Along with monthly art shows, Paper Diamond is involved with the community in other ways as well. “The Elm & Oak Academy is a series of lessons set to be held at the University of Colorado that aims to bring inspirational musicians and artists to Boulder,” the Paper Diamond website said. These lessons are free for CU students and are held about 2-3 times a semester. Botwin is pushing the community to become more creative while giving them a handful of resources.

Currently, Paper Diamond just released tour dates for his last 2012 tour. The Night Vision Tour will feature Eliot Lipp, The Knocks, Crizzly, Clicks&Whistles, Morri$ and others. Tickets are on sale now.

Paper Diamond’s amazing live shows draw some pretty big crowds, with sold out event after sold out event. Not to mention, he has been on tour with huge names ranging from Skrillex and Bassnectar to The M Machine and Two Fresh. The Pnuma Trio and Alex B. have been making music for some time now, but the pseudonym Paper Diamond has only been around for about two and a half years. Despite this, Paper Diamond has become a very common name brought up in the EDM industry. Don’t miss your chance to see him at CounterPoint Festival!

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