Forest Swords – Engravings

Tri Angle Records

In retrospect Forest Swords’ Dagger Paths EP seemed as much the product of Internet hype as it was genuine talent. However any doubts of U.K. producer Matthew Barnes’ actual abilities will be laid to rest with his debut full-length Engravings .

To put it bluntly the album is the best possible followup to Dagger Paths you could have ever wanted. Taking his old formula of spinning dark and twisted soundscapes via touches of psych dub drone and R&B it’s an album all about progress — not departure — as Barnes expands on and solidifies what Forest Swords is was and may someday be.

The proof is all over Engravings whether it’s the spaghetti western-treated creeper “Irby Tremor” the Anneka-equipped slow jam “Anneka’s Battle” or sky-reaching hip-hop-minded epic “Friend You Will Never Learn.” While Dagger Paths came with a certain affected unsure quality Engravings simply seeps confidence as it effortlessly blends both organic and electronic textures as well as myriad sounds and styles.

Now all Barnes needs is some A-list rapper to take his productions and he’ll really have it made.