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  >>News Archive 2004


December 2004

  • THIS MONTH'S RELEASE: A change of pace - after all the writhing and spookiness of October, we draw the year to a close with the plain and uncluttered style of Ben Bloody Thompson in his first release, modestly titled Demos. Three simple songs based on the idea that a decent tune is good enough. Enjoy. We certainly did. 

  • DELAYS LIKELY Sorry for the lack of an update during November - a refit at Learn to Swim's studio (known to all as "The Hessian Palace") has been causing some problems, including messing up our recording schedule. We're still waiting for the "technical staff" to sort it out. So far, it's knocked our release schedule onwards by a month and further delays are still possible. We apologise for the inconvenience...but, hey, there's plenty to be going on with.

  • JOHN PEEL We were devastated to hear of the death of John Peel some weeks ago. Often when someone famous dies words like "irreplaceable" get bandied around and yet the entertainment world is mostly built around giving us the same thing over and over again, albeit in fresh packaging. Not so with Peel. His influence is impossible to measure, let alone reproduce. It's sadly all too easy to imagine Radio 1 without him - but imagine British music without him...

October 2004 

  • THIS MONTH'S RELEASE: We've had a lot of requests (well, some) to hear more about Wiskin and Semlay as their eerie dancehall theme Brainfelching has been online for some time. This month, they finally make their single debut with the double-CD release of the same name which is now available here. The second disc is given over entirely to the 25 minute An Egg Named Thought. As this is such a huge file to download, we've decided to make it a CD-only release. If you like what you hear of the first three tracks and would like a copy of the second disc, please contact us - it's still FREE of course.

  • LTS AT THE MOVIES: Many visitors last month noticed that we're now playing host to two short films by Stephen Phythian. For those who haven't seen them, both are currently available here. Some of the music may sound a little familiar... 

September 2004

  • THIS MONTH'S RELEASE: At long last we're pleased to announce the release of the second single by Hair by Roger. Their debut release Drawing in September 2002 was of course the first single ever put out by Learn to Swim, so they always have a special place in our hearts and still very popular with visitors - frequently at the top of our download chart. The new single, Walking, continues in a similar dreamy vein though perhaps with a tinge of regret. You can listen to all three tracks here now.

  • STANDING WAVE: During October, Scottish theatre company Reeling and Writhing are staging Standing Wave a play based on the life and work of one of our heroes, Delia Derbyshire. The play will be performed at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow between 7th and 23rd October and includes specially commissioned music based on Delia's work. More information about the play is available here along with free downloads of music created for the show and other music inspired by Delia. Our very own Acid Wilhelm has contributed two tracks - both from July's release Una Ricerca per la Morte: L'Interfaccia della Mente e del Cervello and L'Uomo Acido Colpisce un Vassoio including some exclusive notes from the man himself. For more information about Delia you can also visit Sonic Boom's terrific tribute site www.delia-derbyshire.org

  • NEW "HANK" ALBUM: Our dear friends across the water, The Hank Collective have recently released their second album How to Prosper in the Coming Bad Years and, true to form, it's an absolute belter. We've been listening to it non-stop since it arrived on these shores a few weeks back. There'll be a full review in The Bar next month. In the meantime, drop in at the Hank website for free previews and to get hold of a copy. We can't recommend it enough!

  • FORTHCOMING RELEASES: The Release Schedule has been updated to take us through to February next year. As ever, we're constantly bringing you new and interesting sounds from the lower reaches of obscurity. Over the coming months, we have Ben Bloody Thompson making his debut with a collection of beautifully understated Demos, then in December we finally get to hear what Griffin have been doing to turn all their shouting into a proper tune, Oh Joyous Diner (remember them?) kickstart 2005 with the intriguingly titled How We Used to See the Future and another newcomer, Pete Nitrous, joins us in February with Cinecity. Homepages for each of these are now up and running so keep an eye out for updates and cover news. The full release schedule is available here.

  • SEND US YOUR REVIEWS: You may have noticed that last month we launched our Reviews Page and it's filling up rapidly. If you're minded to write up your thoughts on any of our releases, please drop us a line at The Bar. We'd love to hear from you! 

August 2004

  • NEW RELEASE: Back with us this month are those rowdy funsters The Submercibles this time featuring a very special guest vocalist brought to you all the way from Canada. Yes, Cab Williamson himself lurches into the fray on the long-awaited All Our Enemies adding his own brand of rasping glamour to the mix. It's backed with Stains - a tale of the sordid world of urban freeways. Download both tracks here now.

  • Speaking of things Waxworks, observant visitors to these pages will have noticed that we are now playing host to the entire (well, almost) Cab Williamson's Waxworks back catalogue. This includes a number of previously unavailable tracks and the few coherent remnants of their notoriously ramshackle live performances. 

July 2004 

  • NEW RELEASE: The man himself Acid Wilhelm takes centre stage this month with his second solo effort Una Ricerca per la Morte. Three more tracks of your deepest fears translated into pure sound. As mentioned previously, this set includes the frankly terrifying L'Uomo Acido Colpisce un Vassoio - quite possibly the scariest thing you will ever hear. As usual it's available here. 

  • Don't forget to leave your views and comments in The Bar. We'd love to hear from you. 

June 2004

  • NEW RELEASE: Now available is the soundtrack from last year's cult horror Britflick Taphophobia. Karswell is, as many people have correctly guessed, an entirely fictional moniker as it is essentially members of other Learn to Swim outfits working together not necessarily in peace, but in reasonable harmony. All five tracks including the fantastic title theme are available here.

  • Release Schedule update - takes us through to December this year. Wiskin and Semlay's popular Brainfelching which is currently available as a bonus track on their page) gets a full release as part of a special double-CD set. More news nearer the time. Also Griffin and our new signing Timbertoe will be making their Learn to Swim debut before the year is out. Keep checking back for further updates.

May 2004

  • LEARN TO SWIM - VOLUME 1 is available at last! Click here for the running order. The delay has been due to a rather exciting development as Mr Acid Wilhelm himself explains: "Myself and my most excellent friend known only as "Lemur" both sweated over what should and shouldn't go on Volume 1. Bearing in mind the sensitive artistic temperament of some of the Learn to Swim posse we had to strike a balance between showcasing the diverse range of styles and making an album which didn't just feel like a bundle of singles thrown together. We're not Herman's Hermits. So, besides the fact that there's none of my own stuff on there we also decided that where possible the tracks should flow into each other. A bit. Not too much. We're not Rush, either." The upshot of all this is that the version of the album available for download is just the individual tracks which are already available on the site. This is partly because we don't have the webspace to post two lots of the same stuff, partly because we can't guarantee that it'll burn seamlessly on everyone's CD writer. To get the full mixed version you'll need to get in touch with us. The advantage is that you get not only a version which we prefer, it's higher quality (the MP3s are only 112Kbps which is OK but not brilliant) and a printed sleeve and inlay...and maybe some other surprises. It's still FREE but we'll have to make a small charge for postage. Contact us to get hold of your copy! 

  • NEW RELEASE: also available are three new tracks from the Ira Snowmelt Trio. Something a little different. 

  • Just a reminder that our message board is available for you to share your views on our efforts - and indeed anyone else's. Join us in The Bar. We'd love to hear from you. 

  • We've had requests for a help page on downloading and listening to the music. Responsive as ever to your needs, it is here 

April 2004

  • Big news of the month is, of course, the release of our first compilation album LEARN TO SWIM - VOLUME 1. Full details will be available when it is formally launched in a couple of weeks' time, click here for the provisional running order.

  • The final tracklist for May's debut by The Ira Snowmelt Trio is now available on their page. Three slices of pure cool. Chill.

  • The Man Himself Acid Wilhelm reports that his second single Una Ricerca per la Morte has been completed and includes the frankly terrifying L'Uomo Acido Colpisce un Vassoio. We've listened to it and can attest that it is the scariest sound you will ever hear. Watch out for that one in sunny July.

  • The message board is now up and running so please add whatever words you feel inclined to share. Observant visitors will have noticed the homepage now has a neat little icon, which should also show up in your Favourites folder...assuming you have Learn to Swim in there (and why would you not?). There are more of these pointless little tricks planned.

March 2004

  • The Release Schedule is now up to date as far as August 2004. The hugely talented Ira Snowmelt Trio finally make their Learn to Swim debut in May, followed by Karswell with the much-requested soundtrack for last year's cult flick "Taphophobia". July sees the Godfather of Swim himself, Acid Wilhelm return with another slice of idiosyncratic weirdery entitled Una Ricerca per la Morte. And, if they can get it together in time, The Submercibles will follow up last year's "Twist" with an as yet untitled 3-track shoutfest

  • Speaking of "Taphophobia", the David Loophead section now includes Lord Edward Bleeds which provided the backing to that stunning horseback chase sequence through the deserted streets of Carlisle. For obscure contractual reasons, it couldn't be included on the soundtrack CD, but here it is in all its glory. 

  • The Wiskin & Semlay section is now open and leads off with the disturbing Brainfelching, There'll be more from these two in due course.

February 2004

  • The Crisps return this month with a piece of wond'rous strange kitcschery entitled Mocata. Observant Swimmers might like to ponder the significance of the dedication. The boys also mentioned that they recently heard from they elusive Moto who is currently said to be living in a bedsit in Haverfordwest. Apparently she's found herself a new job as an osteopath. So congratulations to the Elfin One!

  • Next month sees the rush-release of the latest David Loophead single Chequeboy. We've heard it and it's a sodding belter. How does this man do it? There must be something in that milkshake stuff he drinks after his kickboxing sessions.

January 2004

  • Happy New Year to all of our Chinese visitors!

  • Bringing us into 2004 with his characteristic blend of the sweet and sinister is Bagman with Corridors. All he would say is that none of the tracks is actually called "Corridors", it's just that that's what they remind him of...

  • Happy New Year from all of us to all of you. We hope you'll continue to stick with us through 2004. We've already got some good'uns up our sleeve for this year. Promise..