Forest Swords, aka Merseyside producer, Matthew Barnes, serves up a new single featuring two cuts born from the sessions that produced his acclaimed Compassion album. All proceeds from the release are going towards the relief efforts in Puerto Rico and Mexico following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria and the recent earthquake.
“Congregate” sees Barnes fragmenting, meditative choral chants to provide the organic backbone of the track as he did on “The Highest Flood” from the Compassion album. Barnes creates a lush, expansive, soundscape with trademark, lucid, piano notes before skittering, fractured glitches corrupt the calm. It’s another excellent example of how adept Barnes is in building then subverting the sonic textures he builds his music from. The second song, “Free”, features experimental, discordant, sax and swelling Middle Eastern vocal samples. As with “Congregate” it is totally beatless, but much more abstract as it shifts and meanders like the soundtrack to a disconcerting dream.
Both songs are a welcome addition for anyone who was seduced by Forest Sword’s mesmerizing Compassion album. More importantly, this release will hopefully provide much-needed funds for people affected by such devastating tragedies.