steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"The Single" free online album

Imaginary Albums

Genres: IDM, "melanchonica"

May 24 - 30 2004

Before I begin: This album is free.  You can download it in its entirety at  Awesome.  Enjoy!

What to call it, what to call it? The Single's entire press sheet deals with trying to define just what Swain's musical style is. Is it IDM? Is it "meloditronica?" Or how about "computer-assisted instrumental music," as Swain itself defines it?

No. This is just plain IDM. It's mellow, sure - and perhaps more melodic and emotional than most "intelligent dance music," but you'd be hard-pressed to honestly call The Single anything but IDM.  That's just what happens when you combine synth-generated tunefulness with complex beats and atmospheric ambiances.

For the most part, Swain is pretty successful with The Single. While these songs can become a bit tiresome (hey, there's twelve of them!), many electronica listeners will be able to find a lot to like in them. The only problem is the presence of numerous extraneous tracks, including the directionless closer, "Synapsis," and the rhythmically challenged "Dross." These are completely unnecessary, given some of the album's better moments - including the riveting title track and the shifting, layered "Bears and You."

This music makes for a solid listen, though you really need to use headphones to experience its full effect. The Single isn't the next I Care Because You Do; it's just a decent slice of homemade, complex, headphone IDM.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, distributed free online]