Albums to watch


Forest Swords


Second album of experimental dub / ambient / drone / dream pop from Liverpool-based producer Matthew Barnes

ADM rating[?]


Tri Angle
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US Release date
  1. 9.0 |   Clash

    Sink deeply into it, and experience a most exquisitely articulated darkness
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  2. 9.0 |   musicOMH

    This is a very special album
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  3. 9.0 |   No Ripcord

    Something of a minor (key) marvel
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  4. 9.0 |   DIY

    Manages to make electronic music feel tactile, organic, and alive
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  5. 8.5 |   Pitchfork

    Barnes’ work is less concerned with trends or scenes than experiences and memories that everyone has had, regardless of what music they’ve listened to before. On that count, Engravings is a broad success
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  6. 8.5 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    It’s a sonic exploration that, not unlike graphic design, takes physical elements and visualises them in another manner. And it sounds incredible
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  7. 8.5 |   The 405

    The music remains - and I use this word under great duress - haunting, like club music created for a venue located somewhere in limbo
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  8. 8.0 |   The Skinny

    An understated and hauntingly beautiful experience
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  9. 8.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    As refreshingly organic, slow paced and engulfing as the Wirral peninsula where Barne’s debut album was created
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  10. 8.0 |   Time Out

    A complex, quietly beautiful record, borrowing from shadowy hip hop, glitchy R&B, dubstep, post-rock guitars and breakbeats
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  11. 8.0 |   The Observer

    The only human voices are processed and reverbed into wordlessness so that they sound as dread-laden as they do ecstatic
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  12. 8.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Engravings, isn’t solely inspired by present aspects like today’s weather; instead, it’s a blend of the modern prevalence of dub and the harsh mysteries of Norse invasions in England’s distant past
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  13. 8.0 |   The Quietus

    Assembling strands of song formats into elliptical constructions with absolute precision
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  14. 8.0 |   Fact

    Engravings suggests that Barnes’ staying power has outlasted whatever witch house or chillwave subgenres he was initially lumped into
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  15. 8.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    Certainly an album that will keep your interest long into the next fad
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  16. 7.7 |   Bowlegs

    Forest Swords are the ideal soundtrack to an after-hours session at the haunted dancehall
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  17. 7.0 |   NME

    A set of remarkable electronic rituals with an endearing, mystical quality
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  18. 7.0 |   Uncut

    Does for the English countryside what Burial's music did for the inner city. Print edition only

  19. 5.0 |   PopMatters

    While Forest Swords isn’t going to be an easy listen for the average music fan, those that are already predisposed to this type of material will probably get a lot out of it
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Forest Swords: Engravings

  • Download full album for just £8.49
  • 1. Ljoss £0.99
  • 2. Thor's Stone £0.99
  • 3. Irby Tremor £0.99
  • 4. Onward £0.99
  • 5. The Weight Of Gold £0.99
  • 6. An Hour £0.99
  • 7. Anneka's Battle £0.99
  • 8. Gathering £0.99
  • 9. The Plumes £0.99
  • 10. Friend, You Will Never Learn £0.99
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