Mon June 24, 2013
First Listen: Beautiful Swimmers, 'Son'
Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 6:56 am
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The term "jam session" conjures up images of artists from all sorts of genres: Miles Davis, Grateful Dead, Can, maybe Animal Collective. House music, though? Not so much. Electronic music and its many sub-genres are known for jams, but less so for nebulous bursts of creativity. Dance music often feels as if it was designed inside a computer (a tendency Daft Punk went to great lengths to counteract earlier this year), usually because it was.
That's not how it works for the Washington, D.C., duo Beautiful Swimmers. Ari Goldman and Andrew Field-Pickering stumbled upon many of the ingredients to their new debut LP, Son, during years of sonic exploration. The group first emerged in 2009 with the single "Swimmers Groove," and has been slowly piecing together the rest of the album ever since, practice session by practice session.
It was worth the wait: Son is a house party waiting to happen. Both dedicated record collectors, Goldman and Field-Pickering touch on house, disco, New Age zen and John Carpenter unease during their 11-song journey, and you can sense how much serendipity played into the process. The album includes "Swimmers Groove" and the award-winning 2010 single "Big Coast," but the duo tops both of those highlights with what might be the sickest groove of the year so far in "Running Over."