Paper Diamond, 'Paragon': Exclusive Early Listen

Dana Tarr

Paper Diamond

The beatmaker branches out on expansive 11-track EP.

“They can’t tell me nothing. I don’t follow no rules.” Paper Diamond’s bouncy single “They Can’t Tell Me Nothing” centers around that line, but the phrase is also an apt description of the producer/DJ’s approach to his new EP, “Paragon,” which you can hear exclusively through CODE below. It will be available for free download it for via the artist’s website starting tomorrow (April 23).

With the striking “Paragon,” the Colorado-based beatmaker (born Alex Botwin) has created a cohesive work out of disparate sounds, resisting modern EDM’s genre taxonomy. The EP is rooted in the bass-heavy, dubstep-driven sound that earned him legions of fans as part of Pretty Lights’ camp. But a sense of fearlessness permeates its 11 tracks, with no sound or sample off-limits.

“All Goose” starts off with a reggae-meets-dubstep intro that bubbles into an all-out-trap banger with the help of an electro-house-inspired build-up. “Just Like Clockwork” features an easy, hip-swaying beat and light vocals by Cherub, reminiscent of ’90s freestyle. Beats dominate, but delicate female vocals are used carefully and purposefully throughout, including on past CODE pick of the week “XIX.”

CODE’s been on him for a minute, but “Paragon” could be Paper Diamond’s ticket to even bigger stages.