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SWANS

Swans

Leaving Meaning.

    'Leaving meaning.' is the band’s fifteenth studio album, the follow up to 2016’s 'The Glowing Man'. Written and produced by Michael Gira, the album features contributions from recent and former Swans, members of Angels of Light as well as Anna and Maria von Hausswolff, Ben Frost, The Necks, Baby Dee and Jennifer Gira.

    Michael Gira explains, “leaving meaning. is the first Swans album to be released since I dissolved the lineup of musicians that constituted Swans from 2010 – 2017. Swans is now comprised of a revolving cast of musicians, selected for both their musical and personal character, chosen according to what I intuit best suits the atmosphere in which I’d like to see the songs I’ve written presented. In collaboration with me, the musicians, through their personality, skill and taste, contribute greatly to the arrangement of the material. They’re all people whose work I admire and whose company I personally enjoy.”


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Michael Gira is a man who clearly can't quit (nor should he). Having given up on the band a number of times, in the midst smashing out some truly amazing albums, he always returns. This iteration of the band includes all the sounds we'd expect from Gira but bolstered by the perfectly selected cast of collaborators and co-conspirators.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xLP Info: Double vinyl in a brown chipboard sleeve.
    Includes high definition audio download.

    2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

    2xCD Info: Double CD in a brown chipboard digipack.

    Swans

    Soundtracks For The Blind - Reissue

      SWANS Soundtracks for the Blind - originally released in 1996, and the band’s last studio album prior to their 2010 reformation - will be released for the first time on vinyl by Mute / Young God Records on 20 July 2018.

      Much requested by Swans fans, the vinyl package will consist of four LPs in jackets enclosed in a box with a poster, insert and digital copy. The box set will be a limited edition of 4,000 copies worldwide and, once sold out, will be followed by a gatefold LP version. Soundtracks for the Blind will also be reissued on CD featuring a repackage of the original digipak for the 1996 Atavistic release plus a bonus disc of the contemporaneous Die Tür Ist Zu EP (a German language version of some of the material from Soundtracks that also includes unique material) recently released for the first time on vinyl in the USA for Record Store Day 2018. Outside of the US, the Die Tür Ist Zu EP will be released as a limited edition companion piece double vinyl set, also on 20 July.

      “This album has everything in there – all the ideas from Swans’ initial 15 years of work. There’s some contemporary recordings of the band as it existed in ‘96/7, with Larry Mullins on drums/percussion, Jarboe singing and playing keyboards, Vudi playing electric guitar, and Joe Goldring playing bass and electric guitar, and me singing and playing electric and acoustic guitar, but there’s also a huge amount of sounds and recordings that Jarboe and I collected over the years. These are reassembled, looped, mangled, and in many cases overdubbed upon to create new pieces of music… I really set my own trap, dug my own grave on this one. There was SO MUCH material to deal with, to sift through (whole trunks full of decomposing, moldy cassettes and discs with samples and sounds), and the task of making it into something coherent was at times debilitating. Really like climbing up a mountain of sand. I don’t remember why I set this goal for myself, to somehow incorporate such a ridiculously disparate amount of material. I think maybe it was so I could justify throwing all that crap into the local dump, which is what I did when I finished the album. But in the end, after centuries of picking at this huge iceberg of material with a toothpick, my trusty engineer Chris Griffin and I managed to sculpt something out of it. It actually breathes, seems to live, in most places I think. … When I decided to reform Swans in 2010 Soundtracks was what I referred to as a starting point”. 
      - Michael Gira / Swans 2018.

      “Now that this last phase of Swans is over, I'm not quite sure it actually happened. It's already fading, like most things. I think we achieved something there though, and it was good after shows to go out and meet people and get a sense of how the music has affected them, either that night or through the years. I'm always touched when I hear the music has had a salutary effect on someone, since it's had the same effect on me - which is why I do it. So, even if the details are increasingly hazy, I feel we've left something positive behind, and perhaps contributed something worthwhile.

      Now, as is natural, I'm looking towards what comes next. I'm currently writing new material for the next phase of Swans, some of which I'll perform on my upcoming solo tours. Sitting there alone on stage with a dead piece of wood and some wires and just my voice is a challenge I set for myself a number of years ago, trying to fully inhabit the same thread that's run through the music all along, with the simplest of means. I think I've gotten pretty good at it over time. I play the guitar my own way. I've never really learned how to play it conventionally and I don't care to do so. I could just as easily be hitting two rocks together. It provides a context for the voice and words, and just as in the music of Swans, when all the elements (known and unknowable) combine, it can lead to something beyond itself, which is always the place I'd like to go: somewhere else. I hope to see you there."
      - Michael Gira / Swans 2018.


      After 2014’s epic To Be Kind, SWANS return with a new album, The Glowing Man, announced as the last album release of Swans’ current incarnation.
      The Glowing Man was recorded at Sonic Ranch, near El Paso, Texas, with John Congleton as recording engineer. Further recordings were made in Dallas, Seattle and Berlin.

      Swans, led by Michael Gira, formed in 1982 and, after disbanding in 1997, returned with the critically acclaimed albums My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (2010), 2012’s The Seer and 2014’s To Be Kind.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Another monolithic collection from gloom-merchants Swans. Equal parts brooding and pensive, but with a rarely embraced melodic sensibility. Further evidence of their unrivalled talents.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLtd CD/DVD Info: Limited edition double CD/DVD format includes a Swans live performance from 2015.

      Swans

      White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity / Love Life

      Swans’ classic albums ‘White Light From The Mouth Of Infinity’ (1991) and ‘Love Of Life’ (1992) are now re-mastered and reissued, with exclusive bonus content, as a 3CD package and a deluxe vinyl box set.

      The 3CD digipack release features both albums plus a third disc bringing together all the bonus material from the original releases.

      The vinyl box set features the albums across three LPs plus a CD of the bonus material, as well as two exclusive posters and a digital download code. The two piece box is black wrapped with silver foil blocking.

      Swans

      Swans EP

        Limited edition vinyl reissue of the much sought after Swans debut EP.

        Originally released on Labor Records in 1982.

        Exclusive to Record Store Day 2015 and limited to just 1000 copies on 12” vinyl.

        The most recent Swans album ‘To Be Kind’ was featured in the ‘Albums Of The Year’ by NME, MOJO, Pitchfork, The Quietus, Uncut, The Wire, Record Collector, Stereogum, Metal Hammer, Clash, Drowned In Sound, Line Of Best Fit, Fact, Music OMH & Crack Magazine.

        Swans

        Filth - Deluxe Edition

        Swans’ debut album re-mastered and reissued on 3CD digipack printed on embossed brown chipboard with booklet including rare photos.

        The first in a series of Swans re-mastered and definitive catalogue releases.

        ‘Filth’ was originally released in 1983. It was recently described by Clash magazine as “a brutally exhaustive work swimming in a thematic pool of audacious abjection” and by The Village Voice as “no wave with five years of practice, too messy for mysticism and too funny for suicide.”

        A NOTE FROM MICHAEL GIRA:
        "Hello There, we (Swans) have recently completed our new album. It is called To Be Kind. It will be available as a triple vinyl album, a double CD, and a 2XCD Deluxe Edition that will include a live DVD.

        The album was produced by me, and it was recorded by the venerable John Congleton at Sonic Ranch, outside El Paso Texas, and further recordings and mixing were accomplished at John’s studio in Dallas, Texas. We commenced rehearsals as Sonic Ranch in early October 2013, began recording soon thereafter, then completed the process of mixing with John in Dallas by mid December 2013.

        A good portion of the material for this album was developed live during the Swans tours of 2012/13. Much of the music was otherwise conjured in the studio environment.

        The Swans are: Michael Gira, Norman Westberg, Christoph Hahn, Phil Puleo, Thor Harris, Christopher Pravdica.

        Special Guests for this record include: Little Annie (Annie sang a duet with me on the song Some Things We Do, the strings for which were ecstatically arranged and played by Julia Kent); St. Vincent (Annie Clark sang numerous, multi-tracked vocals throughout the record); Cold Specks (Al contributed numerous multi-tracked vocals to the song “Bring the Sun”); Bill Rieflin (honorary Swan Bill played instruments ranging from additional drums, to synthesizers, to piano, to electric guitar and so on. He has been a frequent contributor to Swans and Angels of Light and is currently playing with King Crimson)." - I love you! Michael Gira.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Darryl says: The Swans go from strength to strength. Their third album since reforming in 2010, 'To Be Kind' finds them even surpassing the near perfect 'The Seer' with a beautifully orchestrated maelstrom of swaggering sonic delight. You won't hear a better experimental rock album all year!

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        2xLtd CD/DVD Info: Deluxe 2CD and DVD edition.

        Swans

        The Seer - Special 2CD + DVD Edition

        LIMITED SPECIAL EDITION INCLUDING A BONUS DVD.

        DVD IS ONE HOUR 40 MINUTES: TRAILER BELOW:


        "The Seer took 30 years to make. It’s the culmination of every previous Swans album as well as any other music I’ve ever made, been involved in, or imagined. But it’s unfinished, like the songs themselves. It’s one frame in a reel. The frames blur, blend and will eventually fade.

        The songs began on an acoustic guitar, then were fleshed out with (invaluable) help from my friends, then were further tortured and seduced in rehearsals, live, and in the studio, and now they await further cannibalism and force-feeding as we prepare to perform some of them live, at which point they’ll mutate further, endlessly, or perhaps be discarded for a while.

        Despite what you might have heard or presumed, my quest is to spread light and joy through the world. My friends in Swans are all stellar men. Without them I’m a kitten, an infant. Our goal is the same: ecstasy!" - Michael Gira.

        DVD DESCRIPTION: The Swans Seer DVD was recorded variously in the cities of Melbourne, Australia, Berlin, Germany, Brooklyn, NY, San Francisco, CA., LA, CA., and Torrance, California. The footage was filmed throughout the swans tour(s) of 2010/2011. The DVD captures swans at the peak of their creative/destructive potential. The film is a work in progress, and will ultimately result in a feature film / filmography of Swans.

        “For the last two years, one of the world’s most bellicose bands has paid respect to its legacy largely by leaving it alone and tried to expand it by testing its old limits … this is exactly the kind of forward-pointing roadmark Swans deserve.” —Pitchfork

        “The Swans are currently the greatest rock band on the planet....” —The Quietus

        “[Gira] is looking for beauty, pure and simple, unfettered by meaning or standard songwriting notions of emotional resonance.” —The Wire



        STAFF COMMENTS

        Darryl says: The mighty Swans return with 'The Seer'. From ribcage crushing noise to gentle acoustic passages, this has all the hallmarks of the classic Swans "sound"; intense, powerful and pure.

        "The Seer took 30 years to make. It’s the culmination of every previous Swans album as well as any other music I’ve ever made, been involved in, or imagined. But it’s unfinished, like the songs themselves. It’s one frame in a reel. The frames blur, blend and will eventually fade.

        The songs began on an acoustic guitar, then were fleshed out with (invaluable) help from my friends, then were further tortured and seduced in rehearsals, live, and in the studio, and now they await further cannibalism and force-feeding as we prepare to perform some of them live, at which point they’ll mutate further, endlessly, or perhaps be discarded for a while.

        Despite what you might have heard or presumed, my quest is to spread light and joy through the world. My friends in Swans are all stellar men. Without them I’m a kitten, an infant. Our goal is the same: ecstasy!" - Michael Gira.

        “For the last two years, one of the world’s most bellicose bands has paid respect to its legacy largely by leaving it alone and tried to expand it by testing its old limits … this is exactly the kind of forward-pointing roadmark Swans deserve.” —Pitchfork

        “The Swans are currently the greatest rock band on the planet....” —The Quietus

        “[Gira] is looking for beauty, pure and simple, unfettered by meaning or standard songwriting notions of emotional resonance.” —The Wire



        STAFF COMMENTS

        Darryl says: The mighty Swans return with 'The Seer'. From ribcage crushing noise to gentle acoustic passages, this has all the hallmarks of the classic Swans "sound"; intense, powerful and pure.

        Swans

        My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky

        After years of pursuing Angels of Light and recording and producing a diverse roster of artists for his Young God label, Michael Gira has reconvened his legendary group Swans. As he says: 'This is not a reunion. It's not some dumb-ass nostalgia act. It is not repeating the past. After five Angels of Light albums, I need a way to move forward, in a new direction, and it just so happens that revivifying the idea of Swans allows me to do that'.

        This highly anticipated album is as powerful and diverse as anything Gira's ever done, in Swans or otherwise. It opens with the epic, soul-crushing "No Words / No Thoughts", but quickly veers to more pastoral terrain, and on to ever-ascending monotonal grooves. A filmic-folk idyll featuring Devendra Banhart on lead vocal abruptly shifts to cataclysm, and is followed by more airplane-taking-off ascensions, art songs and lethal sonic pummelling. In short, this is the new Swans album, a significant advance from where they left off and as challenging and emotionally demanding as ever.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Darryl says: An album that encompasses all that is the Swans; from the brutal pummelling of your rib cage to the gentle caressing of your senses, this is the Swans on majestic top form. The swans are back, long live the Swans!

        Swans

        Filth / Body To Body, Job To Job

          Another exciting piece of history from one of The Big Apple's meanest, creepiest, most uncompromising bands ever. As with the "Various Failures" triumph, "Filth / Body to Body, Job to Job" collects material from one of the band's golden eras, a time when bands like Swans and their contemporaries such as Glenn Branca and Sonic Youth could barely get library cards, let alone featured on the covers of magazines to which they are accustomed today.

          Disc number one reissues Swans' classic 1983 "Crawl", recorded by M.Gira, Norman Westberg, Roli Mosimann, Harry Crosby, and Jonathan Kane and features previously unreleased versions of "Strip/Burn", "Heatsheet", "Blackout", "Clay Man", "Stay Here, and "Weakling", all recorded live at the Kitchen. Disc number two reissues studio out-takes and live recordings from 1982-85, with a previously unreleased nine-minute version of "Raping a Slave," recorded live in Berlin, 1984.

          Sufjan Stevens

          Seven Swans

            THE PICCADILLY RECORDS ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2004

            This is wonderful! Sufjan has created another stunning album, by blending pastoral folk songs, with a whole host of unusual instrumentation, including electric piano, xylophone and glockenspiel that at times are reminiscent of Philip Glass, occasional bursts of frantic but melodic banjo, and various brass and woodwind instruments and the whole thing is held together through out by some stunningly simple acoustic guitar and fragile, half whispered vocals.


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