Giant Swan Giant Swan Keck
Like a caged animal snarling as it lurches into the daylight, the self-titled debut album by Giant Swan, released on their own label Keck, gets off to a wild-eyed start with 55 Year Old Daughter. A powerful and pointed opener, it sets the scene with chopped, staccato yelps – you’d expect nothing less. Giant Swan have built up a reputation for their uncompromising live shows, and it’s satisfying to get an album-length take on the duo’s aesthetic, which welds the dark, glassy-eyed anti-glamour of subterranean raves to the skittery sonics of experimental electronica.
Building on a string of intense singles and EPs on adventurous electronic labels like Whities and Timedance, the duo’s debut drinks from the same punky, industrial well as Bristolian contemporaries Scalping, albeit with a more dynamic rhythmic range. Giant Swan veers from thudding techno (the gothic Pandaemonium), to grinding ambient (the menacing ‘I’ as Proof) and back again (YFPHNT’s hard-edged acid brutalism). Not a Crossing is a low-key highlight, producing the same unnervingly hypnotic effect as staring at a mildly unsettling scene for slightly too long, while Peace Fort 9 is plain spooky, with flashes of distorted noise periodically flaring from a gloomy melodic mist. Restless and spectral, Giant Swan are a welcome, noisy part of the electronic avant-garde.