Swayzak are their old selves again! James Taylor’s fatherhood sabatical is over, David "Brun" Brown managed things during his absence anyway, and now they return together with their album "Some other country."
Swayzak’s new opus sounds mature and full. On the Brits’ fifth album, what counts is quality, loud showy effects are superfluous. Swayzak have always loved their echo pedal, but in their tenth year of existence, their dub-techno attains a new, compositional dimension. "We’re more interested in atmosphere," says Brun. "The album is darker and heavier – a reaction to all that minimal stuff that has become a type of mainstream." Indeed, the pieces on "Some other country" aren’t just a trip to another country: little worlds unfold.
Can a diamond get goose pimples? Perhaps it can, if it is confronted with a deep jewel like the opener "Quiet Life." With the vocals of Berlin producer and DJ Cassy (Panorama Bar/Berghain), Swayzak stage a moving, room-filling question-and-answer game. It’s similarly the case in "Smile and Receive," where her clear voice mixes with strange noises and gentle bell ringing.
Swayzak’s favorite singer, Richard Davis (kitty-yo, Punkt), is also back. In a gentle and mysteriously melodious voice, he tells in "No sad goodbyes" of how he corrected a faux pas. Then these bright, crystal clear moments, the type one sometimes experiences after an all-nighter, resonate along with it. And it’s thanks to Swayzak if a tension is built up here, which could capsize at any moment, thereby keeping the listener on his or her toes. Grand cinema, but no kitsch.
On the other hand, absurd and completely hysterical, the fun Italian pop’n’roll band "Les Fauves" sings about an unhappy young love: "You’re just a child, you have time to forget." Well then! The singer’s nasal voice is unique, "an unusual guy who works for a blood transfusion service, that rubbed off on him," says Brun. Swayzak illustrate this very angry song in a way that is both hymnal and strange and pack the whole thing with a lot of pop appeal. Monty Python goes techno…
At the beginning of "Claktronic" a girl says "up in the air." And everything starts in a playful, beepy way. But step by step an expressively played flute is added and so is a xylophone and a heavenly chorus. Framed by a razor-sharp high hat and bouncy bass, the piece’s airy arrangement develops, opening onto an almost sacral level.
We can only be amazed by so much courage for intense feelings and for so much fun in experimentation. With "Some other country," James Taylor and David "Brun" Brown deliver what to date is their most expressive album. Fasten your seat belt, it’s a well-directed assault on the doors to our perception. "See, they return," say Swayzak at the end of the album, quoting Ezra Pound. Yes, Swayzak are back, and how!