Swimming (band)

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Swimming (band).jpg
Background information
Origin Nottingham, UK
Genres Art rock, synthpop, ambient, neo-prog
Years active 2004–present
Labels Tummy Touch Records (UK / US)
EVR Records (US)
Colourschool Records (UK)
Izumi Records (UK)
Website swimmingband.com
Members John Sampson
Peter Sampson aka The Petebox
Jonathon Spittlehouse
Blake Pearson
Sam Potter

Swimming is an art rock band formed in Nottingham, UK[1] known for their genre-straddling[2] output that unites a fluid and experimental sonic approach into a sound which is uniformly uplifting.[3] They have releases on their own Colourschool Records, EVR Records and are currently signed to Tummy Touch Records


Swimming as a coherent experimental project emerged in 2004 as a result of previous years of dedicated writing sessions between John Sampson and Benjamin Hallatt. The duo developed the band's fluid and diverse conceptual style in writing and producing the material heard on debut E.P, Pacific Title.[4] The E.P. was completed with John's brother, Peter, on drums and minor input from live band member Andrew Wright. Pacific Title was released on Izumi Records in 2006 without explicit writing credits on the CD sleeve. Hallatt was ejected from a newly recruited 'live' band line up shortly after the E.P.'s completion but had already developed further electronic and composed material in 2006 which was subsequently incorporated into Swimming's 'Primary' EP in 2008 and debut album, 'The Fireflow Trade' in 2009. These developments, alongside a misleading early Wikipedia entry on the band's origin, may have led to the commonly mistaken press assumptions[5] regarding the band's original creative inspiration. The new incarnation of Swimming as a 'band', set about developing the fluid conceptual groundwork in an increasingly 'song based', indie pop direction,[6] gaining praise in the popular indie music and mainstream press for their original approach.[7] The second E.P. Primary[8] was released, again through Izumi Records, in 2008 as well as two singles, Panthalassa and Tigershark that got their first national airplay on BBC Radio1, XFM and heavy rotation on NME Radio. The band recruited a second guitarist, Jonathon "Joff" Spittlehouse and bass player Blake Pearson (aka G KOKO) and supported Chairlift, Pivot (PVT), Shearwater as well as their first festival appearances at Glastonbury and a world first fully binaural, headphone only gig with sonic artist Dallas Simpson at Dot to Dot Festival 2008.[9]

The band's self-produced debut album The Fireflow Trade came out in May 2009 on their own label, Colourschool Records. Having a sound that proved hard to define, the band evoked comparisons to well over 50 different artists in the press around the release of the album.[3] The Fireflow Trade was included in many best of-2009 lists including number 21 in The Fly Magazine.[10]

The band toured Europe in Oct 2010 and signed to Tim 'Love' Lee's Tummy Touch Records the same month.[11] The track 'Sun In The Island' was the first single off their second full-length album, Ecstatics International and was chosen to be the first release on New York's East Village Radio's new singles club, EVRRecords in March 2011.[12]

Swimming's Ecstatics International was released in Nov 2011 in the UK to more critical acclaim[13] through Tummy Touch Records described as "...a near faultless, cliché-free exploration of contemporary synth pop"[14] and made it into the top 10 debut's of the year in Clash Magazine.[15]

In 2013 Swimming have produced the soundtrack[16] to the short film Beyond The Scars, a short film about surfing in the exposed, freezing corners of the North Sea. It was commissioned by and screened on Channel 4's Shooting Gallery, Feb 2013[17]

Binaural Recordings[edit]

Swimming and Dallas Simpson have collaborated on a series of live recordings and performances. Many of these are available online as videos and in 2011 they produced a short documentary with award-winning director Simon Ellis called "Swimming: Beach"[18] which premiered at the 8th Berlin International Directors Lounge in February 2012.[19] The band have recorded in various outdoor environments to match the songs they record. They have also given select live performances to diverse audiences from cinemas, art spaces, festivals and more conventional venues.[20] This setup has picked up the attention of industry ‘sound recording bible,’ Sound On Sound magazine (circulation 18’000) who ran an in-depth feature in their Feb 2012 issue.[20]

Binaural Recordings /Films:

2007: "Swimming: Woods" - remix of Tigershark remix at Ambergate, Derbyshire, UK
2009: "Swimming: Skyspace" live version of Sun In The Island in Skyspace, Kielder, Northumberland, UK
2011: "Swimming: Beach" Documentary of binaural recordings at Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland, UK

Associated Acts[edit]

[12] Swimming's core original member, Benjamin Hallatt, has produced a wealth of minimalist abstracted sound work independently of his time with the Swimming project. Documented works date back to 2004 with an obscure 7" vinyl pressing under the moniker SCKE// with further works and live performances dating to 2015 with various solo projects and collaborations [13]. Notably in early 2015 Hallatt supported Russell Haswell and Painjerk on a rare collaborative performance [14], as well as accompanying renowned extreme Avant-Garde artist Rudolf Eber on the Crater Lake Festival bill [15].

[16] WeShowUpOnRadar

Thepetebox The Petebox

[17] G KOKO - artist / photographer /designer



Date of Release Title Track listing Label
7 Nov 2011 "Ecstatics International" 1. Neutron Wireless Crystal
2. In Ecstatics
3. Mining For Diamonds
4. Kid Global
5. I Do (Come True)
6. Sun In The Island
7. Fire At Blue Point
8. Beat Beat of Your Heartbeat
9. Classic 1001 Dreams
10. All Things Made New (Stand)
11. Team Jetsream
Tummy Touch Records
11 May 2009 "The Fireflow Trade" 1. Panthalassa
2. Tigershark
3. 9:Skopen
4. Ease Down The River
5. Crash The Current
6. Crescents
7. Eagle Aviary
8. All In Time To The Shoreline
9. The Fireflow Trade
Colourschool Records


Date of Release Title Label
5 March 2006 "Pacific Title EP" Izumi Records
15 June 2007 "Tigershark" Izumi Records
9 Sep 2008 "Primary" EP Izumi Records
15 June 2009 "Panthalassa" / "Crash The Current" Colourschool Records
7 March 2011 "Sun In the Island" EVR Records
17 October 2011 "Neutron Wireless Crystal" Tummy Touch
14 May 2012 "All Things Made New (Stand)" Tummy Touch

Previous Members[edit]

Andrew Wright (Keys / Samples/ Vox)
Benjamin Hallatt (Founder member / various instruments)
Alex Pakpour Tabrisi
Amusement Parks on Fire Michael Feerick (occasional live drums)


  1. ^ [1], Bearded Live Review
  2. ^ [spotify:artist:3lDhMdDnZgr0ASn7Lpnyex]
  3. ^ a b [2], The Guardian New Band of the Day
  4. ^ http://www.discogs.com/release/966016
  5. ^ http://www.m-magazine.co.uk/newmusic/featuredartist/featured-artist-swimming/
  6. ^ http://www.thefourohfive.com/review/article/swimming-ecstatics-international
  7. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/jan/24/new-band-swimming
  8. ^ [3], Music Week News
  9. ^ [4], Drowned In Sound DTD 08 Review
  10. ^ [5] The Fly Magazine Best of 2009
  11. ^ [6] M-Music Spotlight
  12. ^ [7] East Village Radio News
  13. ^ http://drownedinsound.com/releases/16655/reviews/4144039
  14. ^ http://thefourohfive.com/review/article/swimming-ecstatics-international
  15. ^ [8] Clash Magazine Best Debut's of 2011
  16. ^ https://soundcloud.com/swimming/swimming-beyond-the-scars
  17. ^ http://www.lolacovefilms.com/#/gabe-davies/4550318611 Archived 1 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ [9] Bubtowers Official Post
  19. ^ [10] Directors Lounge, Berlin 2012
  20. ^ a b [11] SOS Preview Online

External links[edit]

Official website | http://www.swimmingband.com/