A condensed pulchritudinous outlook on anyones inhibitions arguably sets a scene for an anarchical foray into futurity, and it’s this idea that presents every artist with the ominous prospect of making a difference. It’s the lifeline that we attach ourselves to, one that we find within ourselves that ultimately results in self-procurance – this weeks guest, David Brown, effortlessly acknowledges it. If you had the opportunity to attend Fabric on the fifth of November this year, you would have witnessed James Taylor’s final performance alongside Brown, though it stands to reason that both will fulfill their reverie.
It’s been years of commitment and achievement that commenced with the EP “Bueno” [Swayzak Recordings, 1997] which brings us to this time and place. Since then, the releases of ‘Loops From The Bergerie’, ‘Some Other Country’ and ‘Snowboarding In Argentina’ have been featured prominently throughout the past decade and rightly so. The live exploits that ensued only reinforced the denudation.
This weeks special broadcast will put things right, in your own place. You’re with Swayzak.
Kn: You guys mentioned in the past that your friends had to give you a subtle push to release your first work back in ’97. What were you playing around with in those years and what was going through your heads that made you slightly apprehensive about taking the next step?
S: Mainly playing around with samplers, beer and drug types – the results were our first album + a series of 12″s but lack of confidence I guess, we weren’t the networking types and we didn’t really fit in anywhere with our sound, we weren’t hipster dj’s and didn’t frequent clubs. We ended up being lumped in with the british tech house scene something that we were never part of, only we were british and made interesting music! We never tried to push our music on anyone, it was a series of lucky breaks that got our music out. Mind you, we financed ourselves and very nervously waited for the results. We had no clue and you can see this in our first EP artwork – it’s a mess! We mailed a copy to Laurent Garnier, he phoned up and left a message along the lines ” beautiful and moody” things started to get exciting…
Kn: Fusing different musical interests that the both of you had would of created an interesting dynamic while you both found common ground. Was there any particular trait that allowed everything to fall into place and is it something that’s constantly evolving?
S: At the start our styles were different, James was into deep house and hip hop, I was into ambient and Joy Division, but we worked well together – he brought the funk I brought the darkness. We both went to the same gigs and drank in the same pubs, we were best mates really linked by our music work. He would be cutting up beats, I would drop the basslines but after a while the roles reversed. I used to sample Cocteau Twins, he would sample Bob James so it was an odd mix!
Kn: …and on that note you’ve incorporated the use of vocals more than once or twice, something others perhaps shy away from. You both seem to know how to do it right, so where do you think this originated from and what thought processes are involved as opposed to that natural instrument being absent?
S: Listening to pop music since we were kids, Top Of The Pops etc. We got a bit bored doing instrumental stuff and chance meetings with a couple of singers got us thinking. Kirsty Hawkshaw was great, Cassy too, Klaus Kotai, a Berlin legend but I don’t know where he is now! Richard Davis is “the” voice! We just told them all – do what you like, we don’t produce that way…
Kn: On the topic of evolution, how do you feel things have panned out as far as your personal growth is concerned? If you could reflect on one or two things for us that played a part in who you are now, what would it/they be? (It’s a pretty broad and deep concept so feel free to go off on your own tangent, that’d be great!)
S: My belly has grown, my face has fattened, I think I am a better producer and have a good ear for a tune and a ear full of tinnitus too, a better knowledge of music. I learned a lot not from magazines or youtube but from experience on the road and in the studio and that is important, it’s vital to gain experience. I didn’t know how to mix records, some would say I still don’t, but fuck em it’s about the music you play and the feeling you create! That’s not something you learn out of a magazine. I don’t really listen to digital releases which I could get for free but prefer to support the artist / label by buying their records. I shop and this is an important point – we need records, we need shops. I don’t mind others playing digital, that’s just progress but I love vinyl so if it’s not on vinyl I don’t play! Production wise, I have been taking my time to come back with some strong music, and that’s what it’s about…
Kn: Not many artists have released several quality long players over the years so it must always be a challenge conjuring up the next project. What’s in the pipeline, or perhaps more importantly, what would you like to venture into that isn’t a realisation as of yet?
S: 2 new albums next year I think but its been 5 years since our last so in fact this is a new dawn for Swayzak. My partner quit the music industry so I am solo now but not afraid. I have been taking time over this, it’s about interesting people with good music, not fodder that is big for 5 minutes. Some killer new tracks with my friend Richard Davis coming too…