Stumbleine / Swarms?
Stumbleine has been self-releasing his solo music since late 2011, but his association with the rise of the immaculate, sun-drenched post-dubstep sound sometimes termed 'glo-fi' or 'chillwave' goes back two more years, to the release of the first EP by Swarms, I Gave You Everything. As one third of Swarms, a Bristol-based trio originally from Malvern in Worcestershire, he contributed some exquisite, hazy shoegaze guitar textures and production to the three EPs and two albums by the band, including 2011's Old Raves End, which was picked up by the Lo Dubs label and saw the band championed once again by the likes of Mary-Ann Hobbes. Much online hype followed, and before long Stumbleine's Ghosting EP was picked up by Hijo De Colombia, in March of this year. Now signed to Monotreme, an independent UK label, he is set to release his achingly beautiful debut album Spiderwebbed.
Swarms worked because they combined the talents of a bass music afficionado and DJ with the production nous of two musicians whose tastes lay more in the direction of shoegaze, ambient and post-rock. Stumbleine's guitar-playing was a huge part of creating this sound. On his self-released EPs, there were many experiments with oddly-pitched and timestretched vocals, dusted 2-step beats and washes of synth-noise – these elements remain present on Spiderwebbed, but Stumbleine's guitar-playing is brought more to the fore. One memorable track is a blissful, narcotic cover of Mazzy Star's Fade Into You. “I've been playing guitar for over ten years,” Stumbleine explains. “I was brought up on rock and indie really. I got into electronic music later through acts like Boards of Canada, M83 and FourTet. Burial's self-titled album was a game changer for me.”