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4. Found Out
6. Leave House
Dan Snaith is a doctor of maths – and with his albums everything seems to add up. Stripped and purified beats sit comfortably with an atmosphere of the ethereal, while Snaith's lullaby vocals lead you into exciting new worlds.
Thirty-two-year-old Snaith – a Canadian currently living in Britain – has been making music for more than 10 years. First he recorded under the Manitoba moniker, before legal shenanigans called for a change to the name Caribou.
Across the course of his career the mild-mannered musician has picked up a host of fans and accomplices. The people he's spent time with, and had playing in his live band, include Four Tet, The Flaming Lips and Sun Ra – and this assortment of associates provide an inkling into the way in which the Caribou sound has developed. There's nothing out of place in Snaith's cerebral music, and this is true of his third album as Caribou.
Snaith has said that he wants to make dance music which sounds more like water than metal, and the swirling and swishing effects on opener Odessa are perfect exemplars of this theory. He almost whispers over the sound waves, but the beats are never anything less than precise. The track – the album’s lead single, too – features a slightly darker edge than we're used to; certainly the rhythms on it are insistent rather than dreamy. Perhaps the subject matter here – which apparently touches on loneliness – is also at play. But Swim, as a whole, is far from a depressing listen – in fact there are moments which are almost transcendental, such as on the uplifting Kaili.
At the other end of the album, the closing Jamelia features the twisted and tribal vocals of Born Ruffians' singer Luke LaLonde. It acts as the sister piece to Swim’s dramatic opener, the two songs bookending a record which could be simply assessed as intelligent dance music. But it offers much more than mere stimulation for body moving.
There is, unquestionably, a mass of fortitude at work from the creator throughout. Further outstanding tracks, Leave House and Bowls, feature tightly regimented, beautifully controlled beats designed to nourish the mind of both maker and listener, as much as they are built to prick ears and jolt limbs. But despite such a sentiment, Swim is never less than instantly enjoyable either. --Chris Beanland
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Top Customer Reviews
'Swim' is his most recent album, having previously released
four other albums under the Caribou and Manitoba banners
since his 2001 debut ('Start Breaking My Heart').
He is a purveyor of gently rhythmic electronic dreams,
although he is also sometimes overtaken momentarily by
the need to create a jolly pop song. 'Bees' on his 2005
album 'The Milk Of Human Kindness' and 'Melody Day' on
'Andorra' (2007) are both fine examples of these lapses.
The nine compositions on 'Swim' create a powerful and
coherent unity whilst retaining plenty of sonic light
and shade to sustain our interest and attention.
Mr Snaith's fragile but friendly falsetto contributes
a distinctive edge to the proceedings. Sometimes bouncing
around happily above and between the dance-friendly beats,
as in opener 'Odessa' (an addictively twitchy number!); or
in others slipping and sliding about like a man negotiating
a passage across thin ice ('Found Out' is an especially
discombobulating - and lovely - example).
The instrumental 'Bowls' is a particularly strong musical idea.
A simple hypnotic pulse is overlaid with rich layers of luminous
synth arpeggios and gamelan-like percussion. The effect is both
exotic and strangely affecting. Canadian temple music at its finest!
'Leave House' combines a jauntily nervous rhythmic and vocal
arrangement with a darker, brooding undertow which generates
considerable emotional tension. We are left uncertain about
the safety of the territory into which Mr Snaith is leading us
and this contrast is the track's greatest strength and arguably
the album's finest moment.Read more ›
If you love Boards Of Canada - Depeche Mode - I Monster - Aphex Twin - Dubstep... its all of these rolled into one gorgeous album.
All the tracks are long enough to allow you to immerse yourself fully in the music. I first listened to this in my car [after steaming open the parcel] and you know - I never realised how loud my Car Stereo could get!
Best heard loud and in the dark!
Wonderful - buy now or pay later!
Let it be this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There is a "free" disk with this, which is more interesting than the main product. Having said that, I can listen to it for hours!Published on 24 Dec. 2012 by Barry Cross
If you enjoy listening to electronic music or indeed good music, then like the title says, BUY!
As an added bonus, with the vinyl release I received a card with a... Read more