Hypergiant features over an hour of music ranging from gentle ambient and field recording pieces to seven-minute-long gqom-influenced tracks
South African Afrotronica duo Original Swimming Party launch their debut full-length album ‘Hypergiant’ today. The duo, consisting of Thomas Glendinning and Jeremy de Tolly, have created a narrative of translucent hymns and movements that stream dance and consciousness as aids to their offering. We’ve kept tabs on the guys since their release of the EP, and are looking forward to what they bring in their audiovisual album launch at Design Indaba this evening.
The album is influenced by experimental electronica, shoegaze, ambient and drone, gqom, kwaito, South African music and music from the wider African continent. The album discusses themes of politics and war in ‘Weeping Song II’; privilege, colonialism and the band’s own complicity in the divided state of their country in ‘Life In The Colony’ and ‘Camissa’. Soaring chord patterns meander through tales of the joys and sorrows of human existence, getting older and the power of letting go in ‘Chords’; loneliness and celibacy in ‘Skin Upon Skin’ and having a good time amidst existential doubt in ‘Darkest Hour’. An overarching theme of life in a time of impending apocalypse – both ecologically and sociologically – is tempered by themes of celebration, healing and redemption.
The album features local guest artists Greg Abrahams and Keenan Ahrends on guitar, Gene Kierman on French horn and Ryan McArthur on bass guitar. Woven in and out of the music are field recordings from the band’s everyday lives around the City Of Cape Town, including unique binaural recordings of the hidden water tunnels underneath the Cape Town CBD, featured in the track ‘Camissa’.
The album features artwork by Boston-based visual artist Kevin Townsend, who has created a series of drawings based on the themes of Hypergiant.
Original Swimming Party will premiere their album with a live show at Design Indaba’s Nightscape event this evening.
Stream and download Hypergiant by Original Swimming Party below.