Swarms
Low Sun


2.0
poor

Review

by Jonny Hunter CONTRIBUTOR (103 Reviews)
May 17th, 2012 | 43 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Muzzled and subdued: a deeply disappointing release with one saving grace.

Looking back on the yet limited discography Swarms have to offer, I don’t think it’s possible to say that the direction they take on Low Sun is any surprise. This unlikely trio (with two setting their roots in ambient/post-rock and the other hailing from the foreign land of EDM and Dubstep) seem to have been continuously re-establishing the compromise between their influences: with their incredibly bass-laden, slow-motion take on contemporary dance music steadily giving way the more ambient approach that made them so popular in their full-length, Old Raves End. Low Sun sees them continue down this path: shrugging off the bass and complexity for a more straightforward and muzzled pastiche on urbanised electronic.

Possibly the most controversial decision taken in the creation of this EP is the new preference of lyrics over vocal sampling. Both “Low Sun” and “Forest” settle somewhere between James Blake and Jamie Woon in their robotic imitation of RnB soul. While certainly present, the vocal modification is kept to a minimum: the emphasis shifting how it sounds to what is said. It’s a change that arrives unwelcome, and it has to be said that the results are rather lackluster. The lyrics instantly forgettable, the emotion mere sentiment alone; there is no sign of the lonely, lost and sorrowful tone that seemed to be conjured so effortlessly in Old Raves End. When samples are used instead, notably in “Pandora”, there is an instant improvement both in the vibrancy and flow: begging the question as to why Swarms saw it as necessary to make the jump over to a style that, while more continuous, ended up as monotonous.

The group have not forgot how to compile a track completely, however, as the tone created by the very minimal percussion and sampled piano is reasonably immersive. It does run into the problem of tracks never really seeking to grab your attention with much in the way of variation or dynamic shifts; instead it prefers to just flutter by prettily, though based in the context of giving the lyrics more room to breathe - so to speak - this is an understandable decision. Again, “Pandora” acts as the single string of continuity between Low Sun and Old Raves End by being saturated in bass, possessing a deeper range of sounds and in general being much more pleasant to listen to. Set right next to “The Hinge of the Night Sky” (in a 4-track, 13-minute-long EP it would be hard not to be), the contrast could not be more obvious.

While I can understand that Swarms were bound to go down this road, I think Low Sun makes it apparent that they should start thinking about trying a different one. In passing over the sweet spot found on their recent LP, they’ve abandoned a large part of their appeal and indeed much in the way of individuality entirely. For its merits, Low Sun is not a terrible release: it’s relaxed and easy to listen to. But, were it not for “Pandora”, I feel that this EP would be destined for some lonely, well-deserved few years in whatever’s the internet equivalent of a bargain bin.



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user ratings (51)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
fish CONTRIBUTOR (3)
Warmer, softer and less open than Old Raves End, Low Sun remains an enjoyable and interesting listen...

pizzamachine (3.5)
A sporadic wet dream....


Comments:Add a Comment 
StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
May 17th 2012


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Who's next?

Also posted here: http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/

Stream/ purchase: http://swarmsuk.bandcamp.com/album/low-sun-ep

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
May 17th 2012


6486 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Damn, I thought it would be better received around here.

Digging: Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
May 17th 2012


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

3.1 average isn't too bad considering the people who've voted for it already, to be honest. I'm just at the extreme.

MO
May 17th 2012


18856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

can't get over how lol track 2 is

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
May 17th 2012


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I tried not to talk too much about track 2. Felt I might start ranting a little bit.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
May 17th 2012


22004 Comments


What's so much worse about track two than the others? It's better than the title track and Forest

Digging: Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
May 17th 2012


50500 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty disappointing


StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
May 17th 2012


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

2 is just straight up dull. 1+4 at least have a vibe of some kind going for them.

Lought
May 17th 2012


87 Comments


w=that fucdk is this fucking shit suposed to mean iz nothing but fukcing wububwbu shit fucking idiots hav u learned instruments yet faggots. don't thinkg os fuck you all this "ep" gay "atmopsheric" shit fucking sucks.

burial sucks swarms sucks learn to tinssturments


MO
May 17th 2012


18856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

lol

ThroneOfAgony
May 17th 2012


3485 Comments


lol lought

bloc
May 17th 2012


34915 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can't hear this being a two. If anything, I wish this EP was longer.

AsoTamaki
May 17th 2012


2525 Comments


One good track on a four-track EP equals a 2.

Review is pretty good. Best of the three, for sure.

MO
May 17th 2012


18856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"I can't hear this being a two"

too short and nothing memorable, at least for me

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
May 17th 2012


7357 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Excellent review.

I found this fairly enjoyable, though I agree that The Hinge Of The Night Sky is pretty dull.

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
May 17th 2012


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"One good track on a four-track EP equals a 2."

Shame about the others, really.

All I want Swarms to do is make another full length where every song is Fracture. WHY WON'T THEY DO THAT?!

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 17th 2012


31340 Comments



Looking back on the yet limited discography Swarms have to offer,


How is 4 EPs (not including this one) and an LP in a little over 3 years limited? If you're trying to make a point about how more material being available would perhaps allow you to better understand them, wouldn't that point be better suited pointing towards someone who perhaps has been around longer? By comparison, Swarms have put out quite a bit of music

with their incredibly bass-laden, slow-motion take on contemporary dance music steadily giving way the more ambient approach that made them so popular in their full-length, Old Raves End.


Broken sentence, plus missing "to" after "way"

Low Sun sees them continue down this path: shrugging off the bass


Wrong place for a colon

shifting how it sounds to what is said.


Shifting from how it sounds....

the lyrics instantly forgettable,


are instantly forgettable

that seemed to be conjured so effortlessly in Old Raves End


that seemed to have been conjured up so effortlessly on....

both in the vibrancy and flow: begging the question as to


Wrong place for a colon


The group have not forgot how to compile a track completely,


*Forgotten (come on man....)

You kids need to spend more time with your reviews, not just rushing out to try and be the first, all 3 of the reviews for this EP suffer from the same problems

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
May 17th 2012


2714 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

A lot of the things you brought up weren't problems but stylistic decisions (yes, I typed that with a straight face...)

the lyrics instantly forgettable,


are instantly forgettable

that seemed to be conjured so effortlessly in Old Raves End


that seemed to have beeb conjured up so effortlessly on....


This, for instance.

Though some of them.... eugh... Didn't have any more time to spend on it (work doesn't do itself), but still... *unintelligible noises*

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 17th 2012


31340 Comments


No, they're still problems

Irving
Staff Reviewer
May 17th 2012


7311 Comments


You kids need to spend more time with your reviews, not just rushing out to try and be the first, all 3 of the reviews for this EP suffer from the same problems [2]

Listen to Dev kids. Dev is smart.



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