Reissues are big business nowadays, but while they’re often big-money vinyl cash cows, they can sometimes simply serve as an introduction to an artist overlooked years earlier.
And this collection by Edinburgh-based act Swimmer One offers fans of crafted electronic pop the chance to catch up on a lesser-known, although “critically acclaimed” gem from two decades ago. Popular more in 2003 with writers and DJs than the record-buying public, their champions included the likes of Mark Radcliffe, Rob Da Bank, and Steve Lamacq – now veterans of the industry.
However, the band’s music, while now ‘vintage’, still sounds fresh, vibrant, and futuristic. ‘Outliers’ compiles together non-album tracks from across the trio’s
career, and thus a twinkling sequencer intro announces their arrival with debut single, and manifesto of sorts: ‘We Just Make Music For Ourselves’.
A chronological As and Bs collection, ‘Outliers’ is not a standard long-player, though more experimental flipside ‘Talk Me Down From 20,000 Feet’ is no less of a tune, despite starting with radio chatter from an imperilled aircraft.
‘Come On Let’s Go’ was Swimmer One’s second release, their channelling of New Order and The Blue Nile somehow again not spawning a hit single or filling the floors of indie discos, and was accompanied by ‘Lake Tahoe’, a curiously endearing melange of synthesizer noises and robotic vocal. There’s also, before it became the in-thing, a Kate Bush cover, ‘Cloudbusting’, whose metallic percussive beat makes it sound as if the song was always destined for a 21st century electro makeover.
The trio even provide a new tune, ‘Twenty Years Too Soon, Twenty Years Too Late’, which fairly motors along, sounding as fresh as anything from 20 years before and bodes very well for the future.
Whether it’s a renaissance or a reformation, hopefully the band can now go ahead to make, as they suggest in the closing slice of futuro-techno, ‘Music For Other People’ too.
This article originally appeared in the Blackpool Gazette.