Swartz Et: A Living Thing (Utter East, 2018)

September 26, 2018 at 8:06 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Swartz Et: A Living Thing

Detroit musician Steve Swartz normally plays guitar in bands like Au Revoir Borealis and For Wishes, but here he’s recorded a series of extended, immersive modular synthesizer pieces. The name Swartz Et recognizes that even though these are technically solo recordings, there’s clearly another force at play, and the album’s title nods to the generative nature of the synth. Without being blasted at a high volume, there’s a pretty dense amount of textures to these tracks, and they all take their time to evolve and grow. This is a supremely relaxing album, I’ve been putting it on to calm down or get ready to sleep a lot lately. And yet it’s not a fluffy dreamtime album. There’s a gritty crackle beneath much of it, and the slowly all-consuming “Embers” is closer to the corroded noise drone of Tim Hecker. An absolutely wonderful, marvelous release. Listen right now over at Bandcamp!

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