It’s fitting that the D.C.-based electronic music duo Beautiful Swimmers snuck their full-length debut Son out digitally just before the Fourth of July weekend. Their celebratory sound, bright and booming, is an idyllic summer soundtrack. Equal parts afternoon block party, beach come sunset and sweaty basement dance party, it shows the love Ari Goldman and Andrew Field-Pickering evince for dance music of all stripes.
Like Daft Punk, the duo has a fondness for the sort of dance music made right after disco’s bubble went bust in 1979. But rather than the lite jazz and yacht rock that followed in the ’80s, Beautiful Swimmers instead favor the tinny synths of boogie, the earliest canned handclaps of hip-hop, the first forays into repurposing 808s for house music. A track like “Spetzi” features the sort of plastic-tropic rhythms that Sly & Robbie stretched around Grace Jones in the Bahamas. And somewhere between the freestyle whistles and fake rainforest frog chirps arises the Sam Records-era funk of “Swimmers Groove.” But as we near album centerpieces “Running Over” and “New Balance” (as well as the anthemic finale “Big Coast”), the Swimmers get down with ecstatic house music, be it from Larry Heard’s South Chicago apartment, Madchester, or on the sands of Ibiza.