Dimond Saints returned to Denver Friday night on their “Omens Tour,” showcasing their upcoming album and their newest direction as an electronic group. Casting a vibrant mix of West Coast hip-hop and experimental beats, Dimond Saints artistically designed a fully immersive set within Meow Wolf.
The mystic world of Meow Wolf came to life even more as the duo’s sound filled the walls and space. Their creative themes highlighted the tone of their newest album and their ongoing experimentation. Their performance demonstrated the gradient of their eclectic taste, flowing club mixes into psychedelic funk and ethereal melodies.
Dimond Saints began as the West Coast hip-hop scene was inspiring the emergence of experimental bass in hip-hop. Originally from L.A. and now based in Oakland, the electronic duo consists of artists and producers Reece Rosenfeld and Adam Ohana. In an interview pre-performance, Ohana and Rosenfeld described their similar influences as newfound hip-hop and hi-fi producers.
“The West Coast electronic scene is tied to, I feel like, the West Coast hip-hop scene, whether it’s SoCal or NorCal,” Rosenfeld said. “But I definitely think that has a heavy influence on the scene there, where it’s a little bit more like the hi-fi or the funk. That West Coast hip-hop sound has a lot of the influence over the area, at least for myself.”
Those themes synthesized well with the Meow Wolf venue, creating an electric atmosphere. Dimond Saints presented an impressive mix of progressive genres overlapping hip-hop bass with ambient experimental beats.
The set opened with their recently released single “Lotus Flower,” produced by electronic artist Saint Sinners. The single was followed by popular samples from hip-hop artists Kendrick Lamar and SAINt JHN. Excited to perform after the pandemic’s pause on live performances, Dimond Saints perfectly styled old and new songs, playing their recently released single “Phantom.”
The pair has constructed a futuristic vision for their sound and appearance. Dimond Saints’ next album release is a new series of chapters and storylines. The single “Phantom” set the tone for the story behind the album and its design.
“Each song is kind of like an omen in itself,” Rosenfeld said. “Or, you know, a sign, but even for the song ‘Phantom,’ for example, I think we’re just capturing the introspective time that we’ve all been in and just looking for answers to.”
The album, anticipated for a May release, fuses new ideas and creative tools. Ohana said “Omens” is, “a lot more analog, there’s a lot more hardware synthesis involved in this one. Before we started doing this, I bought a couple of new synthesizers — it was a lot of this really fresh inspiration that came so I would just say the synthesis in the overall album is definitely a lot more evolved than in the past ones. There’s a lot more organic movement.”
The phantom appearing on the album art of Omens depicts a hooded and faceless figure. The visualization of the saint plays an important role as the group’s symbol or a medium of sound — and acts as the personified image of the group. Rosenfeld described the imagery behind the saint as, “a sentient being — they don’t really represent us at all. I wouldn’t say that. But I feel like, in a sense, [they act as] a channel, being possessed in a way.”
Ohana added, “It’s like a figure without ego, without things. It’s just there. It’s just providing the channel as a conduit. And it’s more than just the sum of us.”
The next song on the album, “Pathways,” will be released on March 18. Find the release on Spotify.