Swimming is the nom de plume of Devon Ferruci, and his new Ellipses album is one-man tour de force of an album. As is the case with just about everything I have encountered on the Audiobulb label, I find myself wondering why this music is considered “obscure.” Although there are parts which may be a little more adventurous than others, much of the record is incredibly melodic.
The 13-song set opens with “(Aspirated) Plosives,” which features various percussive sounds, and acts as a sort of introductory piece to the album as a whole. Although the motto of Audiobulb is “exploratory electronic music,” it is the acoustic guitar work of Ferruci which really hooked me. The first instance occurs during track two; “We Fill Gaps.“ The sound of his guitar weaving in and out of the various instrumental backgrounds is mesmerizing.
To hear Ferruci’s guitar surrounded by the gloriously lush atmospherics of “Hourglass With Snow,” and “Ale Study” is to hear him in his element. There is also the cheekily off-center percussion he incorporates during “What Duties (1…2…3)!” and “Body Without Organs,” which serves to keep the listener on their toes.
Never let it be said that Mr. Ferruci does not have a sense of humor when it comes to selecting song titles. To these ears, the track “Pretending To Have A Heart Attack” is the most elegant piece of music on the album. The way the composition steadily builds to multiple crescendos is astonishing.
There is always a bit of a sly wink and nod going on just under the surface, and this is most noticeable during parts one and two of the title track. Preceded by the percussive “Body Without Organs,” “Ellipses Pt. 1” has a strangely echo-laden sound, behind a very crisp acoustic guitar solo. From there “Pt. 2” explores a strangely beautiful terrain akin to that of Jimi Hendrix’s “1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be).”
These are really just touchstones to give the potential listener an idea of what they will find in the music of Swimming though. It is an album by turns challenging and beautiful, very often during the same song. Devon Ferruci is a musician of high caliber, and Ellipses is a very rewarding listen.