A summery, party-starting compilation of house, funk and Baltimore club.
I said "Oooooooh" out loud to no one in particular when I learned that the Washington, D.C., duo were tapped for the second The Sound Of Love International. Beautiful Swimmers specialize in pulling records from underappreciated and overlooked corners, finding gems that suit their delightfully goofy yet instinctively cool tastes. But they're not overly concerned with obscurities. By the time a particularly nostalgic transition arrives—a smooth update of Nature Love's "You Turn Me Around" (this one went down especially well at RA HQ one recent sunny Friday) into KW Griff's Baltimore club take on "Be Your Girl" by Teedra Moses—you're ready to eat it up. It sets the mood for the next cut and my high point, The Horn's twisting "Whiddon On Down." On paper, it shouldn't flow this well, but Field-Pickering and Goldman have a keen sense for the unexpected.
The nearly summer release date underlines the perfect occasion for this music. It's the kind of compilation for an easygoing afternoon BBQ, but one you could also play when heads are hazier, spirits are lighter and the volume has crept above polite levels. The 12-inch sampler of The Sounds Of Love International 002 sums up the LP's two moods. Harlem Gem's "More Than You Can Wish" is a sweet, sunny love song, while the first of two subtle Beautiful Swimmers edits, Foe's "Blow Up Girl (Beautiful Swimmers Big Head Self Mix)," another Baltimore track, is rowdy.
Many of the compilation's sounds will feel familiar to Beautiful Swimmers fans. The psychedelic strumming and light synths of Alex Simons "Runnin' Out Of Time" complement the duo's 2009 track "Swimmers Groove." "Aquilla Aquela"'s woodwind riffs sound like those of frequent Future Times collaborator Sami Yenigun. The perturbed youngster on Mark Goddard's 1992 breakbeat number "Tiny's First Journey" could be one of the melodramatic kids from Field-Pickering's non-music gig that often feature on his excellent Twitter. Not only have Beautiful Swimmers compiled an ideal summer collection for an ideal summer festival, but they've also managed to concisely capture their spirit—you might even say, their vibe.
Wed / 29 May 2019
01. Plunky - African Sunset
02. Harlem Gem - More Than You Can Wish
03. Svend Undseth - Aquilla Aquela
04. Alex Simon - Runnin' Out Of Time (Instrumental)
05. Mark Goddard - Tiny's First Journey
06. Foe - Blow Up Girl (Beautiful Swimmers Big Head Self Mix)
07. Nature Love - You Turn Me Around (Karu Mix)
08. KW Griff - Be Ya Girl
09. The Horn - Whiddon On Down
10. Analogous Doom - Living In A Zome
11. Spirit Garden - Electra City