We’ve All Been Swimming by Fieldhead

Having lived in the icy cold wastelands of Canada and the possibly even colder Newcastle Upon Tyne it comes as no surprise that Paul Elam (AKA Fieldhead) knows how to create chilling cinematic atmospheres. On his third full length album the now London based artist wraps his icy electronica in the sort of warm synth patterns that will be familiar to fans of the early day synth pioneers and ‘70s kosmische rhythm makers. Its patterns and shifts evoke recent work by the likes of Clark, Pye Corner Audio those on the Ghost Box label. 

Vinyl LP £15.65 HAM016

BLACK vinyl edition of 150 copies..

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Vinyl LP £16.99 HAM016

BLUE vinyl LP on Home Assembly Music. Edition of 100 copies.

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We’ve All Been Swimming by Fieldhead
1 review. Write a review for us »
9/10 Andy 28 June 2017
I'm not sure if anyone has ever wondered what Arthur Russell would sound like if he was still with us and releasing records on Ghost Box, but should that question ever be asked I would refer them to this album. This is a beautiful release, which whilst understated and relatively quietly spoken has a resonance that belies its 'chilled' veneer.   Whilst undoubtedly an 'electronic' album, there is an almost pastoral quality that suggests wide open spaces, to me at least - the apparently abandoned Victorian era swimming pool on the cover perhaps suggests urban decay rather than rural vistas. That said the environment this conjures up to me are Icelandic plains rather than conservative images of English fields of wheat. Very much in the Jon Brookes and Advisory Circle, this is going to be a record treasured and sought after in equal measure.     Opener 'Meet Me Somewhere Central' has a mid-tempo beat, that sits nicely underneath synths that almost appear in conversation with that beat. This immediately draws you into the record; which has a warmth to the sound, despite the slightly melancholic vibe that permeates. Some of the song titles seem to refer to things in the past tense 'We've All Been Swimming', suggesting something that used to happen - perhaps before the pool on the cover was drained, re-enforcing that suggestion of loss in the music.   This is no maudlin record though; much like Autechre can, Fieldhead have instilled their music with light and playfulness meaning what may seem at first sombre listening experience gradually reveals itself to be rather uplifting. Tracks like 'Ton' tease with a beat less opening before a kick drum appears, a simple melody alights and your headphones are filed with the distilled sound of optimism and possibility.     As I have listened to this album over and over it seems to reveal more depth, shade and variance. Reviewing this is therefore a challenge as I feel this record will be a personal listening experience. This is an album that will open up a conversation with the listener and will reflect back your own emotions, thoughts and moods. That in itself is quite an accomplishment - and for that reason alone I will be coming back to this time and again & suggest you do too.  



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