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Dagger Paths

Forest Swords Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £11.43 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Nov 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: No Pain In Pop
  • ASIN: B00487XA30
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,073 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Miarches
2. Hoylake Misst
3. Visits
4. Glory Gongs
5. If Your Girl
6. The Light
7. Rattling Cage
8. Hjurt

Product Description

The Wirral's enigmatic Forest Swords make a textured, gauzy music as indebted to the Liverpool region's rich musical heritage as it is the windswept-yet-beautiful coastal environment from which it was born. The result is something completely organic, sounding like a mix of Mogwai's more luscious soundscapes, Burial's sample strewn claustrophobia, with touches of Ennio Morricone's legendary reverbed guitar soundtracks. Debut release 'Dagger Paths' is eight tracks of slow release Satori and soulful ambiance marred with chasmic guitars and dread soaked percussion. 'Hoylake Misst' - named after the one of the peninsula's river-facing towns - is a thick, chanting clifftop epic and a ghostly cover of Aaliyah's 'If Your Girl Only Knew' threatens to get funky. Closer 'The Light' is the records most radiant moment - hazy, offbeat and littered with errant strings. It's clear Forest Swords' influences are as wide and varied as the landscape his music is created in. The record's clattering dub, thunderous grooves and cavernous guitar licks rub shoulders with R'n'B shuffles, primitive drumming and heady drones to create music that sounds as weighty and chilling as it is triumphant and thrilling. 'Dagger Paths' includes remastered versions of the acclaimed out-of-print cassette singles 'Miarches' and 'Glory Gongs', tracks from March's US LP release on Olde English Spelling Bee and both sides of No Pain In Pop's 'Rattling Cage' 7 single in August.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Untrue 3 Dec 2010
By Gannon
Format:Audio CD
Forest Swords, ostensibly producer Matthew Barnes, has created quite a buzz, and he's not done it with much. That he's done it from The Wirral is more remarkable still, and No Pain In Pop certainly agree, having given Dagger Paths this expanded re-release.

Consisting of isolated beats in oceans of echo, it has noticeably low bpm, and, co-incidentally rather than with any intent, it seems to crash the anti-clutter of The xx into the dubbed atmospherics of Mezzanine-era Massive Attack - crash however is the wrong verb; it implies too much speed. Dagger Paths is all about slow-motion capture. This is a high-definition release, though one a world away from cosy, commercial sound-tracking.

On "Miarches", a synthesised vocal adds soulful textures to a mildly industrial bed of dubbed beats that pits ponderous bass against chiming guitar. Next, "Hoylake Mist" houses a lingering guitar progression that echoes out across clicking percussion and monolithic drumming. A similar template is adopted throughout, with "Glory Gongs" hanging in suspension between clipped vocal samples and whispering electronics.

Later, a barely-there cover of Aaliyah's "If Your Girl Only Knew" isn't at all recognisable and simmers, largely drifting in from mid-distance on sleepy breezes of melody. Then, "The Light" again finds a winning formula with stripped acoustics, fizzing drone and iconic repeats. It recalls, perhaps, a 21st century Ennio Morricone, such is Barnes' vision to fill his space not only with sound, but also silence.

Though unquestionably impressive, the original Olde English Spelling Bee release of Dagger Paths came without the addition of the recent dubbed-out single "Rattling Cage", nor its equally emotive flip "Hjurt".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forest Swords: Daggers Path 20 Jan 2011
Format:Audio CD
An incredible debut from the elusive Matthew Barnes' Forest Swords, `Daggers Path' fuses drone/folk/lo-fi undertones with modern R'nB and dubstep's use of rhythm and space. A mixture of Burial, Pan American and Ennio Morricone is close to describing Barnes' sound, songs with soulful ghostly vocals, melancholy landscapes and urban paranoia.

I have to admit that when i first heard the EP when it was initially released, i didn't find it very interesting. But then came the superb single `Rattling cage', my favourite single of 2010, and i quickly went back to the album to try it again. For some reason it just made more sense this time, i don't know why! Barnes' guitar sound is wiry, stabbed, reverb-heavy low-end bolts of noise. Add some forceful, rumbling basslines and a subtle use of space and echo reminiscent of the best of Jamaican dub, which work so well on tracks like `Hoylake Misst' with its beating rhythms, warped percussion and guitar drones. Album highlight `Hjurt' floats and hisses for five blissful minutes. `The last 2 tracks, "If Your Girl" and "The Light.", are more textural ghostly treatments, the latter a more propulsive decaying sound reminiscent of early Third Eye Foundation. Forest Swords has been building a loyal following and long may it continue, a delightful record.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 17 Jan 2011
By archimboldo - Published on Amazon.com
I have no idea who this band is, but the music is great! The first reviewer got it and I have nothing to add to his/her writing except: Get this album!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and melodic. Beautiful. 31 Oct 2013
By sailor - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
All of Forest Swords' releases are great. A wonderful combination of electronic music, samples, and live instrumentation. I recommend them all. Dark and melodic. Beautiful. Sometimes finding a groove. Sometimes floating, searching, and then sucking me in again.
8 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waisting away to nothing 30 Oct 2010
By Automated Message - Published on Amazon.com
Worm hairs. Things you've predisposed. Volcanoes on maternity leave. Abandonment in slow-motion, docking at the anorexic space station. Ever-vigilant blurting of inner gases.

Resonation is a thing that can destroy if given too much pep. Always certain and never farther from the truth. The truth fairy offering you bribes to poison your otherstream.

You're even a worthless yesterday that I cannot remember. You're a vertebrate. Deal with it. Now get on all fours. And scrub.

We'll get back there someday. Perhaps we'll still like the same pizza toppings.

It's all inevitable, of course. In retrospect, it's circumspect. Invertebrate.

Phantoms do the dirty work.
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