Beautiful Swimmers - "Son" - Debut album / Press release + reviews

Jeudi, 20 Novembre, 2014 - 15:06

Beautiful Swimmers - "Son" - Debut album / Press release + reviews


Ecoutes Au Vert / Genève / Aventures sonores au grand air! / Beautiful Swimmers - "Son" - Debut album / Press release + reviews / 1624354564

Listen to "Son" here: 


Future Times is very happy to release "Son" in 2013, the debut album from Beautiful Swimmers!!!!! Nine brand-new tracks and two out-of-print classics from the duo of Ari Goldman and Andrew Field-Pickering (aka Maxmillion Dunbar) that ride together across 2 LPs. Strictly 4 The Freaks! Available now digitally, vinyl incoming soon, both via FUTURE TIMES!!!! 

“Son is a true trip, an hour in the zone that sounds like everything in the duo’s record bags happening at once. They’re letting it all flow, whether it’s real-life skills and improvisation (the grown DX bedroom jazz of “Spezi”), collage (the wrong-speed Italian funk and 808 thrill of “Joyride”), or dancefloor knowledge (the utter euphoria of “Running Over”, “Swimmers Groove” and “Big Coast”). Elsewhere, “Easy On The Eyes” sounds like an interlude that barely survived the quiet storm. “Cool ‘Disco’ Dan” swings and slaps. 

Those expecting the LP to stay Beach Ball the whole time will be flattened by the hallucinogenic, borderline-Mego sound design of “Gettysburg” and by “Dream Track”, a cold, articulate slice of the paranoid life. And the voices don’t stop. “No!” sounds like Yello arguing amongst themselves. Found sounds and vocal experiments from the Swimmers themselves chime in on almost every track, adding a strange dose of humanity to the whole affair, more like Zoolook-era Jean-Michel Jarre than ubiquitous sampled divas, who must be so tired by now.” 

Beautiful Swimmers, DC’s own waterproof producer deejays! The Swimmers balance classic dance tracks, known and unknown, with raw exclusives from under the underground. Andrew (who also records as Maxmillion Dunbar) co-runs the Future Times label, an imprint thriving alongside a growing swell of producers and labels from the east coast of the USA. Making tracks informed by the same “indescribable everything” that Resident Advisor wrote about in their Future Times feature, Beautiful Swimmers produce music that bounces around genre like a kangaroo. Their sold-out vinyl releases on FT and remixes wrap up a myriad of influences and production techniques into songs that hit you out of nowhere, with a signature sound that is somehow always changing. The duo are firmly in the zone, carving out a spacious corner for their unique style in both DJ bags and the collections (and movie soundtracks) of a growing group of devotees worldwide. 

Their new album “Son” marks a next wave for the Washington DC duo. After a couple of 12″ singles that have rippled for years, they spent studio time crafting the LP. In the meantime, Andrew also released the critically acclaimed House of Woo LP as Maxmillion Dunbar for the indelible RVNG label, and a drum tracks 12″ on LIES as Dolo Percussion. The duo look to keep the streak hot. Things Will Be Better In Future Times. 


NPR Review by Otis Hart

The term "jam session" conjures up images of artists from all sorts of genres: Miles DavisGrateful Dead, Can, maybe Animal Collective. House music, though? Not so much. Electronic music and its many sub-genres are known for jams, but less so for nebulous bursts of creativity. Dance music often feels as if it was designed inside a computer (a tendency Daft Punk went to great lengths to counteract earlier this year), usually because it was.

That's not how it works for the Washington, D.C., duo Beautiful Swimmers. Ari Goldman and Andrew Field-Pickering stumbled upon many of the ingredients to their new debut LP, Son, during years of sonic exploration. The group first emerged in 2009 with the single "Swimmers Groove," and has been slowly piecing together the rest of the album ever since, practice session by practice session.

It was worth the wait: Son is a house party waiting to happen. Both dedicated record collectors, Goldman and Field-Pickering touch on house, disco, New Age zen and John Carpenter unease during their 11-song journey, and you can sense how much serendipity played into the process. The album includes "Swimmers Groove" and the award-winning 2010 single "Big Coast," but the duo tops both of those highlights with what might be the sickest groove of the year so far in "Running Over." 

Beautiful Swimmers: Son

Washington, DC's Beautiful Swimmers—the collaborative project of Andrew Field-Pickering (a.k.a. Maxmillion Dunbar) and Ari Goldman—doesn't show much interest in sounding contemporary; the duo's first album, Son, often feels like it's filling in a gap in our musical memory. These are irrepressible, upbeat, beach-volleyball-with-friends vibrations in an era when a celebratory spirit is often a hard sell. Over the course of the LP, the pair occasionally flirts with the puckish vibes of something as ingrained as James Ferraro's Far Side Virtual, but there's always some indication of authentic joy to ground the flow of mental images. The previously released "Swimmers Groove" opens like a high-school basketball team running onto the court in slow motion and raises the stakes on the generously funky main groove, which could be the soundtrack for a montage of power lunches. "Running Over" pans across glinting waves dotted with windsurfers. But this isn't the TV Carnage Balearic mixtape, as much of the music calls for white wine and a spliff. 

Gobsmacking ambient track "Gettysburg" aside, the new material on Son doesn't really expand on the sound established by early Beautiful Swimmers singles "Big Coast" and "Swimmers Groove." Those cuts remain the energetic high points of the album, although "Cool Disco Dan" is an insistent grower. Over the course of the LP, the pair doesn't outwardly surpass those cuts, but Beautiful Swimmers nonetheless find traction by focusing on deepening their sound. Even in the context of a resurgent American dance underground, the duo doesn't sound like anyone else. The drum-machine workout that is "Dream Track" might be Beautiful Swimmers auditioning for the Workshop label—"I cannot distinguish between my programmed dreams and reality. One creates the other," an android intones over spare and psychedelic accompaniment. And then there's "Gettysburg," which comes across like some sort of Flying Saucer Attack–Enya confab.

And still, "Big Coast" looms so large that, in a way, it's easy to miss that inescapably involving energy elsewhere on the LP. Still, even the album's longest and least outwardly impressive track, "Spezi," has a powerful undertow throughout its nearly nine-minute course. In the end, Son offers a kind of sentimental education in appreciating Beautiful Swimmers. "The most beautiful thing in the world is smoking pot and fucking on a waterbed at the same time," says "Cool Disco Dan"'s follow-up "Joyride," and after listening to Beautiful Swimmers in a full-length format, it's hard to argue with the sentiment.

The buddy-house vibes of Son come on gently but persistently, and over time are the equal of Maxmillion Dunbar's House of Woo, another slow-burning high point of the year. As a rule, Son is an understated record, even though the sounds it uses are frequently as obvious as they are sublime. The LP's ingrained funk represents for DC as a melting pot of genres and a place ruled by good times. Beyond that, Son takes the time to establish a commitment to boogie that is much more than skin deep. With so much dance music opting for a straightforward 4/4 pulse, Beautiful Swimmers' up-front cheer and weighty syncopation differentiates the producers from their contemporaries—but never in a competitive way.