“Arriving on the heels of a proper full length album, “Like Waves Between Us” is a new instrumental ambient EP from Detroit-based musician Steve Swartz. The EP explores the idea that we are in a constant energy exchange with each other. Kindness. Anger. Desire. Sorrow. Joy. All rippling back and forth amongst us in varying degrees of intensity. All that we feel, hope and desire roll like waves between us. “Like Waves Between Us” is modular synth piece initially created for a performance at North Coast Modular Collective’s Summer Camp event in the summer of 2019. The performance went over well and Steve decided to record the piece.”

Last seen on these pages for his “Drowning In The Light” and “Light Leaks”, Detroit Ambient/Drone artist Steve Swartz is back with his latest release the epic four track “Like Waves Between Us”. Normally a four track EP isn’t usually called epic unless like this one it has an a near hour length with four tracks inhabiting between eleven and twenty one minutes in length. Armed with Modular Synths Swartz continues his expansion and exploration of sound with “Like Waves Between Us” with it being in line with his previously covered releases while still taking him further out there. Partially recorded live at the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti, MI by Nick Gaydos the four pieces : “Like Waves Between Us, “Like Waves Between Us (Live at North Coast Modular Collective Summer Camp)”, “Currents Between Us” and “Like Waves Between Us (Spoken)” are for the most part intense excursions in Modular synthesis.

A noticeable feature of the music is the way collects a variety of sounds, sources, shades and intensity. This is not some prog synth noodling, rather it’s excursions in textures and colours through a set up that is more than the sum of it’s parts. I woulds be curious to know how much the environment in which this was performed/recorded in affected the outcome of the pieces. There is a noticeable difference in the intensity and tone of the studio and live versions of the title track with the live version being more of an ambient cousin to the more forceful studio take. There is a more melodic nature to the live approach which offers a nice comparison in a way that it is almost like a re-working or re-visiting of the original piece.  The short edit of sorts that is “Like Waves Between Us (Spoken Word)” focuses more on the squally storm of sound and affected melodic rippling drones while a mantra like dialogue is layered over the top. “Currents Between Us” removes the build up times of the two main versions of “Like Waves Between Us” and finds the listener thrown straight into the deep end with these juxtaposing sounds  of sonic crashing waves and melodic tight drones while a consistent fixed oscillating wall of sound is found embedded in the centre. Swartz removes the evolution of the sounds at the start and re-positions them within the heart of he piece. By doing so the listener is straight away surrounded by sounds as opposed to them gradually assert themselves making for a more immediate experience.

“Like Waves Between Us” is a Digital only release and is suite to those into drone and modular synths.




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