The DC duo get the party started.
If you're ever feeling down on dance music, go to a Beautiful Swimmers gig. Andrew Field-Pickering (AKA Max D) and Ari Goldman have been going back-to-back since the late '00s, and they're among the most animated DJs in the game, hammering home the fun and physicality of their selections by dancing and wearing ear-to-ear smiles. They're also serious record collectors—when they're not traveling, Goldman and Field-Pickering work in record stores, and their time spent in the bins shows in their sets. Over the years, the duo have used house music as a foundation to explore Baltimore club, jungle, post-punk and other unclassifiable delights. Goldman and Field-Pickering also both run labels. Field-Pickering's Future Times began as an outlet for the tightknit DC scene, but as his reputation as a DJ and producer has developed, so has the label's scope, with respected acts like Magic Mountain High, Jack J, Shanti Celeste and Steve Summers all appearing in recent years. Goldman's label, World Building, only launched last month, but through the excellent Mark Seven single The Fatal Flaw In Disco it's hit the ground running.
"World building" could easily be applied to what Field-Pickering and Goldman have achieved. They seem to operate on the fringes of the dance music circuit, taking an impulsive approach to making, releasing and playing music. On their RA podcast, they turn to bumping UK garage and house, mixing the likes of R.I.P. Productions with new music by Flørist and L.M.Y.E. If you're in Amsterdam for ADE this coming Saturday, October 22nd, come see Beautiful Swimmers line up alongside Actress, Onur Özer, Objekt, Map.ache, rRoxymore, Suzanne Kraft and Palmbomen II at RADION.
What have you been up to recently?
Field-Pickering: I've been soaking up some free time and working in the studio a lot. DC is dope in the fall, and I'm taking advantage before we go out for some gigs next week.
Goldman: Lots of dog walks in Rock Creek Park (shout out to The Blackbyrds), chillin' with my family, working on upcoming releases for my World Building label, getting ready for this year's NHL season and trying to finish up a few new Beautiful Swimmers jams.
How and where was the mix recorded?
Field-Pickering: We did the mix with vinyl and USB and then got busy on the computer for some intro and outro collage vibes. We did it at my crib, in the studio, which has been turned inside out since for some recent sessions.
Could you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
Field-Pickering: We wanted it to slam, and be kind of a snapshot of what we're doing lately in the club, in that main part of the night, cruising.
Goldman: I really dig how it turned out! This mix feels more focused than most of our previous mixes. Instead of going all over the map we managed to keep a nice flow throughout the session. It has a unique vibe while still sounding very "Swimmers." Also, it's the first mix we've ever done where we didn't end with a slow jam.
What have you been listening to recently?
Goldman: The music never stops! I recently pulled out a few old CDs that I've been diggin'. Vladislav Delay's Entain, The Stooges' Fun House and the Miles Davis In A Silent Way boxset. My deep love of street soul recently sent me down a UK hardcore YouTube wormhole, which was enjoyable. The recent Steven Julien album is amazing and I've been steady jamming the LNS 12-inch on Freakout Cult!
Field-Pickering: Always a deep question, just gonna look at the "just in" stack by the turntable and the iTunes… At the moment I'm listening to a lot of Wah Wah Wino stuff, old Wolfgang Voigt shit like Mint and All, Acting Press, Avalon Emerson's "2000 Species Of Cacti," the Yves Tumor LP, new music from Future Times peeps like Sami and Person Of Interest and Repetentes 2008, DJ Wey and Beatrice Dillon. I'm really into typing "Erick Sermon Remix Instrumental" into YouTube right now, too. The list goes on. I'm also in the middle of making new Swimmers tunes with Ari, new music with Dawit, new Lifted stuff, so I'm listening to all of those a lot, too. Things are swirling.
What tends to be the vibe when you play together, and how does this differ from your respective solo sets?
Field-Pickering: When I go solo I maybe tend to get a little higher in BPM with maybe more drum/polyrhythm vibes these days? I bet we each keep a little bit of the other DJ in our solo sets, really. But yeah, when we play together, at this point, we just have the records and the WAVs and we don't think twice about much, just vibe off the night and go forward with it. It's not really a back-to-back, even though we do each play one record at a time, you know?
Goldman: There are way more similarities than differences when comparing my solo sets to Beautiful Swimmers. It's not like my solo vibe is wild polka and bluegrass cuts. However, I'm sure there are some differences. I probably play more guilty pleasures that Andrew hates, like cheesy Italo disco! And I certainly have to plan my bathroom breaks more wisely!
What are you up to next?
Field-Pickering: Packing tunes for these gigs next week!
Goldman: Getting the second release on World Building, a very beautiful 12-inch by Flørist, set for mastering. And yeah, getting the DJ bag and USB ready for our upcoming gigs in London, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv and Karlsruhe. Psyched!