Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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Artist: Swartz et (@)
Title: A Living Thing
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Utter East (@)
Rated: *****
Swartz et is Steve Swartz from Detroit, Michigan and this is his ambient solo project, the third released under this name, previous albums being 'Nighttide' and 'Respire'. Can't say I've heard either of those but that's not uncommon. Swartz is also in a couple of bands - Au Revoir Borealis (post-rock, shoegazer) and For Wishes (folkish acoustic). 'A Living Thing' is 8 varied tracks of ambient ranging from hazy drone ("Waken") to gentle New Age electronics ("Daydreams"), to subtle minimal isolationism ("Moons"), to grey ambient ("Winter Years"), to shoegaze ambient ("A Living Thing"), to noise ambient ("Embers"), and more. Some of this is reminiscent of Eno's 'Shutov Assembly' in a purely abstract way. Swartz has a good command of layering and texture so the pieces seem moving rather than static which is essential for good ambient music. While it may not be anything you haven't heard before, it should please ambient enthusiasts of varying stripes. Download only, no physical product.