Monday, 6 December 2010
Music for Babies?
Forget Howie B, tune in to Steve S. That’s S. for Swartz, a new-found guitar hero for late-night lowlight lullaby land.
Apparently Swartz’s daughter was one of the first to hear the ambient guitar work that would eventually come to fill his first solo CD, Nighttide. Seems he was only trying to lull her off into Morpheus’s arms, but from there it took on a life of its own – a life that inhabits the gauzy grey drones with particulate resonances of otherness. Textures are coaxed from the guitar by various manipulations, from hammering it to letting fan-blown curtains sweep across the strings. There’s nothing cute about Nighttide, for all its conceptual origins; though there’s a warmth to Swartz’s tones, there are shadows and fog at the edges.
Nighttide is released on little known Utter East, though it could just as easily have come from Kranky, Low Point, or, more appositely, Slaapwell, for that matter.
"This album was recorded, mixed and mastered in high resolution audio with numerous subtleties. The mix of each piece will sound different from system to system due to the full scope of frequencies captured during the recording process. The decision was made early on to protect the integrity of the dynamics and subtleties contained within the mix. Therefore, mastering was treated minimally and volume should be considered as one would consider salt. Add to taste. In other words, if you need it louder, turn it up."
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