Ben Swire is from San Francisco. From Here To There is his debut album and it’s very hard to believe because it’s so damn good. He excels at the kind of wonky electronica that Rechenzentrum used to offer, however he looks much less towards the dance-floor and instead strives for a meld with more organic instrumentation like double bass or electric guitar working in tandem with the electronics. It’s hard to think of a more assertive and confident debut. There’s genius here in the carefully thought out arrangements, in the textural mixing between field recordings, electronic beats and in real instrumentation often subtle and jazz influenced. It’s seamless and it all harks back to when electronica was king, though offers a kind of precise minimal beat powered electronica with a warmth and gentle beauty that people like Susumu Yokota hinted at, yet never really achieved. It’s definitely not a homage, rather it’s a unique entry unto itself. It sounds like it’s been dropped from the sky fully formed yet has been buried in the snow for five years. It’s that special. Folktronica never felt so pure or vital, and in Swire’s hands these aren’t dirty words.
Bob Baker Fish