Music Review | posted 02.09.2013
Forest Swords
Engravings
Tri Angle, 2013
Text Pippo Kuhzart , Translation Julia Frohn
Your Rating:
9.0
User (4)
8.8
Editorial
Cover Forest Swords - Engravings

»Cause when you try hard, that‘s when you die hard«. Alright, it doesn’t quite fit the music on »Engravings« to start out with a Kayne-quote, but then again Mathew Barnes aka Forest Swords seems to have internalized those words. He would never bend over backwards for being a musician, and he’s kept it open, so far, whether he’d ever release his own debut. Now, three years after his »Dagger Paths«-EP (voted record of the year by Fact-Mag in 2010), he has released it, after all. Ambitions? Nope, not really. The purpose of »Engravings« is simply to be doing it, which might be exactly the reason why it’s breathtaking. The record runs you over with the opulence of classical music, but then again always puts a soft veil back over your face, created by Mathew Barnes with the deepest roaring borrowings from dub, R&B and beat-hammers. It doesn’t happen often that modern instrumental music sounds this powerful. While the individual tracks wrap up in trance through the use of loops, repetitions and slowly sneaking details, the record as a whole remains unpredictable. »Engravings« could just as well serve as a soundtrack for dynamic aerial footage of England’s country-side in the rustic north-west, for a cold night-walk through what we imagine Liverpool’s industrial quarters to be like. For every drum, Barnes knows exactly how it is supposed to echo; every bass is planned, whether to sound muffled or like it’s making full impact. He anticipates the effect on a track’s atmosphere in every single detail. This way, he has created a record that perfectly combines the mood of vocal-samples with the Tri-Anlge-label-sound, that has dubby basslines and guitars straight out of a spaghetti western practically dripping from the record. It’s one of the records of the year.

You can find »Engravings« by Forest Swords at hhv.de auf CD and Doppel-LP
Related Articles
Music Review | posted 01.10.2014
Vessel
Punish, Honey
»Punish, Honey« sounds like a reflection of Shinya Tsukamoto’s »Tetsuo«, held together by a feel for composition and song structures.
Music Review | posted 13.10.2016
Katie Gately
Color
On »Color«, Katie Gately demonstrates how to put seemingly chaotic sounds and vocals into the right mixing ratio.
Music Review | posted 16.03.2011
Toro y Moi
Underneath The Pine
Toro y Moi’s Underneath The Pine is even better than his last year’s debut.
Music Review | posted 24.04.2011
Hype Williams
One Nation
The next hipster collective using pop-cultural references to knit a psychedelic carpet of blog-electronica.
Music Review | posted 29.04.2011
Panda Bear
Tomboy
Tomboy has become the Hit Album that it’s been announced as from the very beginning.
Music Review | posted 16.03.2012
Grimes
Visions
There’s an absentminded, aimless naivety entrenched in the current record by the Canadian elve-singer Grimes.
Music Review | posted 19.04.2012
Toro y Moi
June 2009
After his celebrated second album »Underneath The Pine«, Chaz Bundick promptly comes up with a half-hour compilation of older songs.
Music Review
Bremer/McCoy
Natten
Jazz is more hip than it has been for a long time. The output is large, the return mediocre. But with »Natten« Kopenhagen’s Bremer/McCoy deliver a fantastic work.
Music Review
Kuunatic
Gate Of Klüna
Japanese trio Kuunatic debut on Glitterbeat with »Gate of Klüna,« a literally otherworldly psych-rock masterpiece.
Music Review
Quantic & Nidia Góngora
Almas Conctadas
Eight years after a joint EP, Nidia Góngora and Quantic intensify their collaboration with the album »Almas Conctadas«.
Music Review
Various Artists
Shouts 2021 Vol.1&2
With »Shouts 2021,« the British label Rhythm Section International follows up the first instalment of its compilation series with an even more ambitious second one.
Music Review
Trip Shrubb
Trewwer, Leud Un Danz
On »Trewwer, Leud Un Danz,« Trip Shrubb remixes tunes from a Folkways record from 1952. The results are disquieting.
Music Review
Grouper
Shade
»Shade« is the twelfth album release or so from Grouper and the question is: Can Liz Harris keep up the level of the previous ones? Spoiler: She can.
Music Review
Ka Baird & Pekka Airaksinen
FRKWYS Volume 17: Hungry Shells
On »FRKWYS Volume 17: Hungry Shells,« vocal performer Ka Baird collaborates with the Finnish composer Pekka Airaksinen.
Music Review
Warda
Khalik Hena
First released in 1973, Warda’s »Khalik Hena« has now been reissued via WeWantSounds for the first time since then,
Music Review
MLO
Oumuamua
More Virtual Dreams: Music From Memory pay tribute to MLO with an extensive compilation of the ambient duo’s mid-90s work.
Music Review
Sepehr
Survivalism
Sepehr pays his dues to the sound of the hardcore continuum. But his »Survivalism« mini-LP also offers much more than only that.
Music Review
Akiko Yano
Ai Ga Nakucha Ne
»Ai Ga Nakucha Ne« by Akiko Yano, released in 1982, was produced by Ryūichi Sakamoto and offers a wild mix of styles.
Music Review
Xochimoki
Temple Of The New Sun
»Temple Of The New Sun« comprises pieces by the project Xochimoki, which in the 1980s dedicated itself to reinterpreting Mesoamerican music forms.
Music Review
Soshi Takeda
Floating Mountains
Soshi Takeda translates the sight of Chinese mountain landscapes to lo-fi house with his »Floating Mountains« album for 100% Silk.
Music Review
Sault
NINE
»NINE« by Sault drenches all whites in hydrochloric acid, sends beautiful greetings from Stax Studios and holds a mass like Yeezus.
Music Review
Cindytalk
Wappinschaw
Once understood, it’s life-changing: »Wappinschaw«, 1994 released highlight of Cindytalk, has now been reissued on Dais Records.
Music Review
Various Artists
Eins Und Zwei Und Drei Und Vier
Kann eine Compilation über die Neue Deutsche Welle noch neue Einblicke ermöglichen? »Eins Und Zwei Und Drei Und Vier« zeigt, ja, das geht.
Music Review
Palmbomen II
Make A Film
Film without music is possible, but meaningless. Palmbomen II thought so and created 24 musical sketches that invite you to »Make A Film«.
Music Review
Various Artists
Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop 1980-1989
In Mexico, too, synthesizers and drum machines were popular in the eighties. You can listen to them on the compilation »Back Up: Mexican Tecno Pop 1980-1989«.
Music Review
Nala Sinephro
Space 1.8
The most successful example of jazz that holds its own in open dialogue with electronic approaches comes this year from Nala Sinephro and is called »Space 1.8«.
Music Review
Angel Olsen
Aisles
On »Aisles«, Angel Olsen covers songs from the eighties that she heard as a child in the supermarket. A little masterpiece of five songs.
Music Review
Tata Vasquez & His Orchestra
Ecstasy
Tata Vasquez is another musician for whom it is hard to understand why he hasn’t made more records. But we can be very happy with »Ecstasy«.
Music Review
Hiro Kone
Silvercoat The Throng
With the album »Silvercoat The Throng,« Hiro Kone significantly expands their sonic palette without losing their signature style.
Music Review
Flying Lotus
Yasuke O.S.T.
A bit like haiku without words: With the soundtrack to the Netflix series »Yasuke«, Flying Lotus once again shows all its skills.
Music Review
Uman
Chaleur Humaine
Freedom To Spend reissues »Chaleur Humaine«, the 1992 debut by the French sibling duo Uman.
Music Review
Little Simz
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Forget Drake! Kanye West anyway! The rap album of these days is called »Sometimes I Might Be Introvert« and comes from Little Simz.
Music Review
Jan Jelinek
The Raw And The Cooked
With »The Raw And The Cooked«, Jan Jelinek has cooked up a nice soup for us. His work, originally composed for SWR, is now available on vinyl record. Delicious!
Music Review
Hozan Yamamoto & Yu Imai
Akuma Ga Kitarite Fue Wo Fuku
The soundtrack to the 1979 film »Akuma Ga Kitarite Fue Wo Fuku« composed by Hozan Yamamoto and Yu Imai has now been re-released.
Music Review
Jolly Mare
Epsilon
Mediterranean summer music: You have to imagine the sea of Jolly Mare on »Epsilon« as a cheerful one.
Music Review
The Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble
Le-Le
On the threshold of acid jazz, »Le-Le«, by The Arpeggio Jazz Ensemble from Philadelphia, was released in 1987. Now comes a reissue.
Music Review
Venetian Snares
Rossz Csillag Alatt Született
The finally rereleased LP “Rossz Csillag Alatt Született” is and remains Venetian Snares’ most ambitious album.
Music Review
Park Hye Jin
Before I Die
»Before I Die«, the debut of the South Korean musician Park Hye Jin, released on Ninja Tune, follows a sophisticated architecture.
Music Review
Xique-Xique
Na Lagoa
»Na Lagoa«, into the lagoon, is where the Brazilian duo Xique-Xique go on their now released debut album.
Music Review
Tülay German & François Rabbath
Tülay German & François Rabbath
On the first of their two joint albums, Tülay German & Francois Rabbath explored Turkish folklore. The result from 1980 still sounds timeless today.
Music Review
Sarah Davachi
Antiphonals
Milky shimmering pearls: Canadian musician Sarah Davachi has released a great new album with »Antiphonals«.
Music Review
Ian Carr
Belladonna
»Belladonna«, Ian Carr’s gem from 1972, has now been reissued. Jazz lovers should get their hands on it.
Music Review
Arpanet
Inertial Frame
With »Inertial Frame«, the third and last album by Gerald Donald’s project Arpanet, released in 2006, is now being reissued. The past catches up with the future.
Music Review
Al-Dos Band
Doing Our Thing With Pride
Recorded in 1976, never released until now, Kalita brings »Doing Our Thing With Pride« by the elegantly sparkling Al-Dos Band to life.
Music Review
The Pro-Teens
I Flip My Life Every Time I Fly
Is Melbourne the secret capital of retro-funk? With »I Flip My Life Every Time I Fly«, a band called The Pro-Teens is preparing to confirm this assumption.
Music Review
DJ Seinfeld
Mirrors
»Mirrors« is the name of the second album of the Swedish producer DJ Seinfeld. And compared to previous music, the mirrors are well cleaned.
Music Review
Sorcerer
Kids World
»Kids World,« the new album from California based musician Daniel Saxon Judd aka Sorcerer is out on Growing Bin.
Music Review
Sofie Birch & Johan Carøe
Repair Techniques
»Repair Techniques« is a classic Sofie Birch album, but not only thanks to Johan Carøe also much more than that. Her collaboration on STROOM~ impresses with small gestures.