Friday 25 August 2023



Last month Forest Swords (real name: Matthew Barnes) gave us a taste of a longform project to come. Arriving in the form of a double single, 'Tar' and 'Butterfly Effect', these showcase the eminence of a composer-producer in sculpting new worlds using the same electronic materials, quarried deep from the earth in muddy handfuls, precious clumps.

'Tar' sees Barnes conjure a distorted sonata, skittering noises creeping in the background, like a lament for preserved Neolithic body encased in the track's titular substance. And featuring a previously unheard Neneh Chery sample, 'Butterfly Effect' cracks with living-and-breathing percussion, shards of ancient noises, mosaicked into a beat fit for a bog bonfire.

Most recently come the remix treatments for the latter in a love-letter to UK dance music. A fragmented, shuffling garage beat plays out in 'Drizzlah's Club Remix', the Neneh Cherry vocal weaving among scrambled popping melodies, while the 'Basement Dub Remix' slows things down, imbuing a dub groove with the soul of the original, synth skirling like a haunted melodica.

More dance-inflected fun arrives in the clean-cut collage of percussion in the 'DJ Ron Dixon Clubstep Mix', which is beset with a mash and melding of dissonant synths. Perhaps most fitting partner for the original 'Butterfly Effect', however, is the 'FS Ambient Air Mix' - like a phantom stretched thin, it falls as a giant sheet enveloping moorland, all fizzing greys and gleaming calls to the other side. Throughout these nocturnal, evnveloped remixes, there's a satisfying contrast at work, bringing the twigs and tarot of Forest Swords into distinctly synthetic, contemporary spaces.

  • 🔔 This collection of new music from Forest Swords is available to purchase and stream at your leisure over on his Bandcamp. They've been released ahead of some tour dates (below)
  • 🔔 Forest Swords tour dates:
    Saturday 2nd September - Varpalota, Hungary: INOTA Festival
    Sunday 17th September - Sofia, Bulgaria: Wrong Fest
    Thursday 2nd November - Manchester, UK: White Hotel
    Friday 3rd November - Newcastle, UK: Cluny 2
    Saturday 4th November - Glasgow, UK: Mackintosh Church for Great Western Festival
    Friday 10th November - London, UK - ICA
    Saturday 18th November - Paris, FR - Badaboum
    Monday 20th November - Brussels, BE - AB Club
    Tuesday 21st November - Amsterdam, NL - Bitterroot
    Wednesday 22nd November - Arnhem, NL - Willemeen
    Thursday 23rd November - Leipzig, DE - UT Connewitz
    Tuesday 28th November - Athens, GR - Municipal Theatre Of Piraeus
    Tuesday 5th December - Copenhagen, DK - Hotel Cecil
    Wednesday 6th December - Stockholm, SE - Slaktkyrkan

    Tickets available from

Forest Swords Internet Presence ☟
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