About the swim
Rutger Hauser is Lisa Busby, Jamie Coe, Rose Dagul, John Harries, Ian Stonehouse and Jon Klaemint Hofgaard.
During the summer of 2018, they – we – travelled to the Faroe Islands to record a second album, which became The Swim sometime later. We lived and worked for a week in a community hall called Sólarmagn, on the coast at Velbastaður looking out towards Hestur and Koltur, the horse and colt, and the Atlantic beyond. That and more (amps, cello and drum kit, studio gear, pillows and bedding) was made possible by the generosity of various individuals and organisations on the islands, and by the dedicated organisational work of Klaemint, the band’s one Faroese member.
Velbastaður is a bleakly beautiful place, but it was uncharacteristically sunny for most of the week. On Friday night, the sessions complete, the fog came down and we drank and danced enveloped in grey nothing. The place is in the music – the sound of the big, wood-panelled room, the coast road empty in both directions and the sea outside the window. The Swim sounds like a group of people working things out together. If we could do without pre-determined form and without conventions of improvised music; if we could not necessarily be drummer, bass player, guitarist, cellist, electronicist, but sometimes just people playing together in different combinations; unspecialised, unsure. It’s mostly first or second takes. When we did things more times, they usually ended up worse.
Sean Woodlock recorded the sessions, helped us to make sense of the music before and after, and though he will deny it, became one of us. Back at home, the recordings were mixed in a second week by John Harries, and some overdubs added by Ian Stonehouse. Otherwise, they sound now not much different to how they sounded in the room at Sólarmagn. The vinyl cut was by Noel Summerville, and art and design by John Harries. The album is co-released by Adaadat (UK) and Tutl (Faroes).
“The Swim is testament to the uniquely open, porous nature of improvised music; skilfully delivered yet invitingly playful and inquisitive, it never feels obtuse or inaccessible. There’s something about the indeterminacy of the record that gives it an amorphous quality, making it feel markedly different from listen to listen.” – Luke Cartledge, The Quietus
“There’s a palpable trust that feels integral to how well the songs fit together, a belief in something close to supernatural in the group dynamic that enables them to make sense as a whole. The songs as artefacts become more than the sum of their individual elements elevated by something like alchemy.” – Claire Biddles, The Wire
1. Fjallavatn I Maximum Tourist
2. Hestur og Koltur I Hestur and Koltur
3. Leiti I Five Pages in the Lost Ledger
4. Av Brúnni við Streymin I The Swim
5. Golmansskor I On the Rotifer Conchilus Volvox
6. Bursatangi I Bohnanza Life
7. Millum Víkingartoft og Gravarbakka I Catfish Michael
8. Rúnarsteinur í Sandavágskirkju I Nólsoy, looking North!
Released on the following formats:
“The Swim” is released on LP (as pre-order until print is finished) as well as digitally on all major platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, etc.).
Check out the record on the player below where you can hear one full song snippets of the rest.