The enigma that is Black Swan has emerged from the shadows to deliver it's second work. Awash with chilling ambience, found sounds and haunting samples, The Quiet Divide reins in the phantasmagoria, examining the blurred in-between, the darkness that lies at the divide. Creeping ever so slowly out of the confined spaces of it's previous work, In 8 Movements, Black Swan moves further into the crevice, mining territory unbefitting to most composers. Upon surfacing from the muck and grime, the resulting work is disquieting and poignant, exposing the listener to the inner workings of the desolate in hope that they will never have to plunge themselves into it. swanplague.com
Side A: (20:40)
The Quiet Divide
Bleeding Hearts Alliance [Phase 1]
Bleeding Hearts Alliance [Phase 2]
Side B (19:28)
Bleeding Hearts Alliance [Phase 3]
The Quiet Divide [Reprise]
Praise for the debut Black Swan album In 8 Movements:
Residentadvisor.com | 4/5
Drifting from start to finish, In 8 Movements is like slowly getting pulled down a drain. Only it isn't your physicality that moves, but rather the world around you—and somehow your intangible being with it. While the journey is strange enough, there is also an air of mystery around the origins of In 8 Movements: The original Discogs entry used to link to an obscure ‘70s artist on Polydor. Now corrected, there is no information at all, whereas the official website only reveals “drones for bleeding hearts.” (In addition, there have been a host of different versions of In 8 Movements on different labels, including cassettes and limited 7-inch reels.) Sonically, you can draw comparisons between what labels like Type and Kranky often suggest, but none of them fully explain In 8 Movements. The opening movement sounds like Leyland Kirby covering Godspeed You Black Emperor in slow motion, while the second is cavernous and darkly angelic. Somewhere in the middle of this continually evolving album of modern classical/drone, the continuum breaks into grainy strains of “real” music, a classical waltz, then church music that sounds as if it's coming from another room, until it all fades to grey. There is a feeling of being watched as the climax slowly approaches. Perhaps it is the inkling of spirituality in the distant bells and the edge of voices as they slip away? The fear that there might be something else out there fires a desperate but futile escape, as waves of drones reach a crescendo. Eventually, the reverie is broken. But because it's such a captivating and powerful work, you'll likely want to get dragged right back into it yet again.
Boomkat.com | Album of the week
Majestic and mysterious album of lucid dreamlike dronescapes from an unregistered entity - quite a must for fans of Stars Of The Lid, Leyland Kirby, Phillip Jeck or Indignant Senility. ‘Drones For Bleeding Hearts. In 8 Movements' submerses us in a flickering, half-lit world of creaking, unidentified acousmatic sound and orchestrated drones with chillingly tangible atmospherics. When Black Swan drops the temperature, say with a sudden ghoulish howl from the peripheries or a disorientating blast of icy nothingness, you can practically feel your hair moving in kinaesthetic syncopation. To this degree he evokes the psychedelic, gaseous nature of Phillip Jeck's music and also the piloerect effect of Indignant Senility's Wagnerian overtones. But there's something detached, silhouetted and lurking between the lines that suggests something creepier, as though Black Swan is watching you listen to his music with a face caught somewhere between voyeuristic sneer and irreconcilable sorrow. It's too early in the day to be falling into this right now, but once night falls we'd imagine the effect to be massively intensified.