Different Strokes: A Beautiful Swimmers Countdown

Easy listening superstar Jimmy Buffett famously sang, “Beautiful swimmers stay in the groove” – a rallying cry today’s Beautiful Swimmers fully get behind. Finding that sweet spot between disco, classic house and 70s rock and funk, Ari Gordon and Andrew Field-Pickering produce and DJ easygoing jams and edits perfect for your pool party, summer camp make-out sesh or full-moon beach extravaganza – releasing many of them on their own Future Times label. Along with friends like Steve Summers and Ron Morelli of the L.I.E.S. imprint, they’re putting down roots for a new gen East Coast house scene, one that’s obsessed with classic labels like NuGroove, Trax, Underground Resistance and Prelude – making them the perfect people to ask for a countdown of hot grooves.

It’s a challenge to stay this posi-core, but Ari and AFP (aka Maxmillion Dunbar) have plenty of experience chilling together. The two hail from the leafy suburbs outside of Washington DC, and first met when they were in ninth grade. “Both of our bands played a show at a church,” reveals Ari. “We actually didn’t really care for each other. Andrew was in a straight-edge hardcore band and I was in a goofy glam rock group. My sketchy past revealed!”

All T Rex aside, Ari says growing up around America’s capital definitely informed Beautiful Swimmers’ musical proclivities. “I was always going to shows growing up,” he recalls. “There were tons of all-ages events. DC is also an amazing place to find records, and that has always had a major impact on our DJ sets, as well as providing a sample… or two.” But being born in 1983 (“a very funky year,” says Ari) – and outside of New York, LA or Chicago – there was plenty of time to fantasise about eras they may have missed. “Obviously, it would have been incredible to experience a night at the Music Box in Chicago with Ron Hardy melting your mind, body, and soul,” sighs Ari when asked where he would point the time machine. “I also wish I could have seen an early Red Hot Chili Peppers show, like at some crazy house party at a mansion in Beverly Hills. But seriously, I hope things are getting better every day. Let’s ride to the future!”

It was hard to pin-down Beautiful Swimmers – they’ve been recovering from a popsicle addiction and steadily preparing for upcoming shows, as well as prepping a forthcoming Maxmillion Dunbar full-length called House Of Woo. Knowing they’re consummate record nerds, we asked them to please link us to some of their crucial cuts. Swim on!

Ghentlon “Real”
This is an awesome track on a pretty crappy new beat compilation. I’m pretty sure it was only released on this comp. I probably play this song too much but it sounds so fresh! It pulls off the ‘acid’ sound much better than most new beat tunes. (Ari)

Clive Stevens “Mystery Man”
I can’t believe there is a video for this song, and it’s awesome and totally weird too. The incognito saxophonist always has me laughing. Great cosmic tune and a wild video! (Ari)

Robbie M “I Wanna Be With You Tonight”
I love this amazingly homemade video! It has quite the surprise ending. This jam was recently released on a 45 and is being distributed by the fine folks at PPU. Robbie M, lead singer of cult boogie group Midnight Express, has still got the funky touch! (Ari)

Morenas “Somnambulism”
Yes! What a great track! Italian house that sounds like Detroit – it doesn’t get much better. Big shout out to Serdar in Ulm, Germany, for turning me on to this one. (Ari)

Glenn Crocker/Glenn Underground “Entercourse Of The New Age”
Video games should have more music like this, like… if you were running for your digital life in a jungle or something. Some real “Big Head Mode” shit right here. But beyond the drama, it’s really one of those beautiful deep house gems that keep on giving and giving with the melodies. You kind of just have to bug out if this gets played loud enough! (Max)

Gemini “It’s The Inside That Counts”
I’m kind of obsessed with Gemini right now. The way the bassline drops out of this and the little organ parts are fuckin’ crazy. This is DJ weaponry, too, at least for us. We’ve had a couple parties where this one whipped everyone into a frenzy. Gemini productions are always unruly and unexpected and awesome. Love this dude! (Max)

Derrick May “Strings Of Life” (live 1989)
How much can I really write about this? You gotta watch it. He freaks it so hard. I’m happy that, given the situation of a bunch of people raving to this, he plays a dreamy-ass version while sitting down. Real shit. (Max)

By Vivian Host on October 4, 2012

On a different note