Review: SWAN MEAT – FLESHWORLD

BANDCAMP.

Press play and be yanked – and I mean yanked, hard – down through Megadrive cartridge slots, ascending beyond the strobes and perspiration rain of claustrophobic basement clubs, hurtling into the blur of shopping malls with their garish cocktail of consumerist stimulus, before smashing through skylights to greet flocks of augmented choral voices. The pace is terrifying. Instruments appear and obliterate themselves within seconds, like a video game that renders only the presently-visible and exists oblivious to anything off-screen. I couldn’t tell you what happened five seconds prior. A solo koto improvisation perhaps? A gabber headache? SWAN MEAT swells in the mind until there is no space for memory, nor any inclination to pull focus from the endless wave of content. Yet there’s an invisible thread of continuity that stops FLESHWORLD feeling like a slideshow of disconnected experiences; something is carried through from one moment to the next, with each track like the sprawling evidence wall that orbits a central conspiracy. Even when the beat shapeshifts between industrial dub and breakbeat and reggaeton, or synthesisers compress from anthemic trance to squelchy dungeon splatter, the record’s hurtling momentum remains intact. And thus the energy-drink-4AM-internet-rave-for-one euphoria is never broken. Am I dancing, or succumbing to seizures of excess?