£18.99 GBP

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Forest Swords, aka acclaimed Merseyside-based producer Matthew Barnes, returns with his eagerly anticipated new full-length record.

Compassion, the follow-up to 2013's critically lauded debut Engravings, is released via Ninja Tune. It engages with an uncertain world we're experiencing, distilling it into a unique sound territory: Barnes' exploration of the mid-point between ecstasy and frustration, artificial and human feels timely and affecting. The result is an assured, compelling body of work, tying together the ancient and future: weaving swathes of buzzing digital textures, field recordings, clattering beats and distorted jazz sax with fizzing orchestral arrangements.

The album shifts from 'The Highest Flood's' skeletal bounce to 'Panic's' claustrophobic paranoia; the rapturous hyperballad 'Arms Out' to the windswept and cinematic 'Knife Edge,' navigating through the orchestral glitch of 'War It' to decaying jazz thump of 'Raw Language.' The album is equal parts disorienting and immersive, balancing bold sweeping gestures and crumbling textures; tracks seemingly disintegrating and reassembling at points across the album.

Blending both digital and specially recorded brass, strings and vocals, Barnes's processing never truly makes it clear what's new or old, sampled or unique, constantly blurring and toying with the line between digital and acoustic. Central to this enthralling world is 'Compassion,' an album that's as weighty as it is vulnerable, sculpting the most striking parts of his previous work into something that feels urgent and necessary, and cementing Barnes as one of the UK's most significant electronic artists and composers.

CD - 4 Panel digi pack.

LP - Standard version of the LP artwork comes with a 12" x 12" insert print.

LP+ - 500 Copies Only. Deluxe version of the LP is a Gatefold sleeve housing an additional 12" x 12" art booklet and 12" x 12" insert.


  • War It
  • The Highest Flood
  • Panic
  • Exalter
  • Border Margin Barrier
  • Arms Out
  • Vandalism
  • Sjurvival
  • Raw Language
  • Knife Edge
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