File this under “How did we miss this?” The answer is simple: the album was released on January 4, when much of the Northern Hemisphere was caught in the Arctic tundra (where I live, -7F/-22C actual temps). Suffice it to say, we were not thinking about swimming, or even venturing outside if we could help it. But as it turns out, Swim (re-released with two bonus tracks on January 26 ~ still cold!) is the perfect summer album, packed with engaging beats, sweet strings and an upbeat vibe. It’s already packed in my car, ready to accompany me to the beach.
– A Closer Listen (acloserlisten.com
Brazilian composer Thiago Desant has made many albums over the years under various names, most notably Phantoms vs Fire, but while none of them is less than interesting, there’s something special about 2017’s Swim.
The whole cinematic album has an oddly yearning, retro-futuristic tone and its best tracks, including “The Beach House,” “Nightwalker,” “Atlantic,” “Swim” – which was nearly my track of choice here – and of course “The Gloaming Swell” have an intensely warm and human feeling not always evident in electronic music. This track embodies the album’s landscape of near-tangible organic sounds, dramatic strings, poignant swelling analogue synth, crisp percussion, deep bass and a pervasive wooziness that gives the album its distinctively immersive and oddly pensive marine atmosphere.
Sublimely dreamy but with a persistent and mysterious tug of nostalgia, it’s somehow appropriate, if also annoying, that the only physical format Swim was released on was cassette. “Cinematic” can be a meaningless junk descriptor in music criticism, but Swim is self-consciously filmic in its scope and structure and feels oddly narrative for something with no words.
The album even ends with a track titled “The Illusion (End Credits).” But back to “The Gloaming Swell” itself – initially the glitchy, worn-out-tape whine of the music seems alienating, but as soon as the warm pulse of the bass kicks in it’s like being embraced by the child you used to be.
Ideally, Swim should be heard in its entirety, but failing that, “The Gloaming Swell” should be enough to reel the receptive listener in.
– Will Pinfold
'Swim' is an excellent album, beautifully combining a wide array of instruments and influences. I'm especially curious for the future of this project. The talent and motivation seem to be present and if all goes well, this could become a name to be reckoned with in the near future." – Merchants Of Air
"A truly stunning work of art. An extraordinary palette of acoustic/organic and electronic/synthetic instruments carefully and methodically splashed on an absorptive canvas." – Vehlinggo (Aaron Vehling)
"A modern orchestral soundscape large on emotion and beating hearts. Flawless and one of the best long players we have heard in quite awhile!" – Diamond Deposits
"...whilst we are not here to lecture anyone about their music, this album may well inspire some original ideas for others to develop" – Beehive Candy
"This music is ideally spacious, while at the same time combining complex rhythmic devices with lush orchestral parts to create an ambiance of balanced contemplation. This is the perfect soundtrack for your star gazing, chill out sessions or just for sheer reverie" – Big Takeover Magazine
"Deep and hazy electronic grooves. Straight underwater music, and much like life below the surface, this one is singing to its story and rhythm... What a beaut" – Poule d'Or
released February 25, 2023
Written / Produced by Thiago Desant
Artwork / Art Direction / Design by Thiago Desant