From Here to There
A hearty welcome back after nearly eight years to the Bay Area’s Ben Swire. He’s been around, but this is pretty much his debut full-length recording – and it’s more than a simple pleasing affair. From Here to There on Australia’s Preservation imprint is Swire’s best-yet handmade melodic work. It’s above the hum and numb of drone, and with just the right balance of electronica-based elements to keep things moving. It’s brisk going, and here, this multimedia artist has depicted a world not unlike his unabashedly wide-open photographic landscapes. On this release, each of the eight tracks is something of a vignette at under six minutes each. A peek into the prowess of something being constructed underneath, something curiously cinematic and yet light. Halfway with its gorgeous opening moments slowly adds a tempered beat and some strings, never feverish or nervous, built almost like a truncated narrative. Though somehow a piece like this leaves you waiting for me, a bit of a tease as the final twenty seconds fade. A track like Far Removed speaks through its title, almost excerpted from a scene in a film like say Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm perhaps. It’s out there. Overall From Here to There is one of the more timeless recordings I’ve heard in many years, blending soft/sweet harmony and classic minimalist tempo with just a perfect amount of right now.