South African Afrotronica duo Original Swimming Party (OSP) made up of Jeremy de Tolly and Tom Glendinning have released their debut full-length album Hypergiant. The album features over an hour of music ranging from gentle ambient and field recording pieces to seven-minute-long kwaito, and dance tracks.
Original Swimming Party (OSP) are an audio-visual group from Cape Town, South Africa. They draw influence from an African tradition of rhythm and harmony merged with elements of left-field electronica.
“Musically, the album is influenced by experimental electronica, shoegaze, ambient and drone. South African music genres including gqom and kwaito, and music from the wider African continent,” says Jeremy de Tolly.
Glendinning says: “On ‘Hypergiant’ soaring chord patterns meander through tales of the joys and sorrows of human existence, getting older and the power of letting go (Chords); loneliness and celibacy (‘Skin Upon Skin’) and having a good time amidst existential doubt (‘Darkest Hour’). An overarching theme of life in a time of impending apocalypse – both ecologically and sociologically – is tempered by themes of celebration, healing and redemption.”
Woven in and out of the music are field recordings from the band’s everyday lives around the City Of Cape Town, including unique binaural recordings of the hidden water tunnels underneath the Cape Town CBD (featured in the track ‘Camissa’, ‘Camissa’ being an ancient Khoena word meaning ‘place of sweet water’ and the original Khoena pre-colonial name for Cape Town).
Original Swimming Party produce, mix and master their own work and between them provide extra instrumentation such as guitar, piano, synthesizer, live drums and percussion as well as field recordings, and custom coding of their own audio & visual devices. Their live show includes projected visuals that tightly integrate with the music via MIDI and audio sync. They work behind the scenes to create their own visual material through design, code & film as well as sourcing beautiful content from world-class collaborators.
‘Hypergiant’ features guest artists Greg Abrahams (guitar), Keenan Ahrends (guitar), Gene Kierman (French horn) & Ryan McArthur (bass guitar). The album features artwork by Boston-based visual artist Kevin Townsend, who has created a series of drawings based on the the themes of Hypergiant.