This week's Label Picks comes from Brooklyn's Ceremony Recordings, who brought us Young Athletes League's brilliant debut EP earlier in the year. Here, Matthew of Ceremony talks straight from the heart about new signing Albert Swarm. Download "Familialities" from the forthcoming Held EP below.
Well, it's all kind of ironic. I knew Albert Swarm made music for a while after I met him, even before we actually started Ceremony. He really was a part of it from the start, helping us make a video for Young Athletes League, who were our first release. I actually met Swarm while we were on a short vacation in Europe, we were crashing at a friends outside Amsterdam and Swarm was living in the same apartment building. A little later on he ending up coming over to New York for a few months and decided to put together an album he wanted to have completed before he left for home. That album is Held, and it's Albert Swarm's debut release.
Initially, I heard a few of his tunes on Bandcamp after a friend had told me how good they were. And that was that, I heard a few tracks and was blown away. The subtle touches he puts on each of his songs is really special, I think. It's been incredible watching him create the album from a couple of samples turned into an actual production, a movement even, because the album really does feel like a story unraveling. Quite simply, I just connect with the music he makes. It brings me back to some of my favorite albums from Ghostly, or Hotflush, and especially Editions Mego. Some might find Albert Swarm's music to be a little cold or distant, but I find it rather warm and just the overall space he explores really blows me away. I couldn't say it's entirely ambient, but it does have a connection to that, but tracks like 'Familialities' or 'Foundling Wheels' in some parts move towards being a dance tune and the vocals he chooses to sample, they're incredible! They couldn't go anywhere without them. Everything in the song is there for a reason; I think Swarm has a real talent to put his mark on everything he makes. From his music, to all the artwork he's made, and I'm hoping he does more for us. I'm really looking forward to having him a part of the label and seeing what he comes up with next.