Phantoms Vs Fire – Swim

Phantoms Vs Fire – Swim

Less is occasionally more when it comes to the self-promotion required of any electronic musician nowadays. Who, we are invited to ask, is Thiago C. Desant? He is in fact a Brazilian now living in Italy, influenced by artists as varied as Tycho, Mike Oldfield, Ryuichi Sakamoto and others, and as Tycho features prominently in my own playlist at the moment I decided that Swim deserves a hearing and indeed a review.

Since I began writing, the sleeve art to the first album from Phantoms Vs Fire that I’ve heard of – and so far as I know it is in fact a debut – has been altered, the wave forms of the original artwork replaced by what resembles a model of a rocket of some sort. I hesitated slightly in beginning my review when I discovered this, as it seemed quite possible that Thiago C. Desant would suddenly make other changes to Swim, reconfiguring its track listing, remixing some tunes and deleting others, perhaps even changing the artwork yet again. None of this has happened so I feel that I can confidently review Swim as the same album that anyone reading this and then listening to it will hear.

One thing about electronica these days is that a lot of it can seem a bit laid back, very reliant on the bass-lines and designed to pulsate gently in the background rather than being at the centre of whichever room it is played in. Nothing very wrong with that, but Swim is taking things at a slightly different tangent. The tracks are less soporific and more percussion-led and it is a longer album than I often hear nowadays, its 13 tracks adding up to just under 60 minutes of music.

That isn’t to say that Swim is hard-edged and leaning towards a post-industrial sound, far from it. Immersive and ambient in measured amounts, the music of Phantoms Vs Fire retains a virulent energy at its centre, as Thiago C. Desant gives free rein to his musical imagination.