"The Single" free online album
Genres: IDM, "melanchonica"
May 24 - 30 2004
Before I begin: This album is free. You can download it in
its entirety at www.imaginaryalbums.com.
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.
[Vitals: 12 tracks, distributed free