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04'06 INTERVIEW
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SWAYZAK
Loops From The Bergerie

K7166CD
!K7 2004
10 Tracks. 53mins39secs

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Despite having known each other and worked together for over ten years, James Taylor and David Brown only officially formed Swayzak after friends urged them to release some of their music. After a handful of very well received EPs, the pair released their first album, Snowboarding In Argentina, on The Medicine Label in 1998. With this collection of minimal dub/ambient tracks, Taylor and Brown started establishing their blend of edgy techno pop, reaffirmed two years later on the band’s second album, Himawari. While the band’s first opus remained largely instrumental, Himawari offered a more opened vision thanks to vocal contributions from Benjamin Zephaniah, J.B. Rose and former Opus III vocalist Kirsty Hawkshaw. After a third album depicting a more upfront side to the pair’s musical landscape, with touches of electro-clash and vintage synth-pop giving it a wider appeal, Swayzak returns with a more organic and inspired sound for their fourth album, which places them alongside the likes of Alpinestars.
While its title is a play on word on the soundtrack for sixties French movie Les Loups Dans La Bergerie, composed by Serge Gainsbourg, it is actually a reference to the Bergerie, a country house situated near Montpelier in the South of France, where most of this album was recorded. This is said to have influenced the pair’s approach to their work, rejecting the laptop in favour of analogue instruments. Once again, the pair alternate vocal tracks, with contributions from Clair Dietrich on Then There’s Her, Parisian Mathilde Mallen on 8080 and The Long Night, as well as Swayzak’s very own David Brown providing lead vocals on Snowblind and Keep It Coming, with fine instrumentals. The band also worked with Richard Davis on My House, Speakeasy and the superbly atmospheric Another Way, and plans to build their new live set around his voice.
While remaining too clever to appeal to the masses, Loops From The Bergerie appears nevertheless as a subtle effort to widen the band’s audience. Hitting right from the start with two catchy numbers, Keep It Coming and Another Way, Swayzak build up the atmospheric structure of the record by alternating between sumptuous dance floor moments (My House, Snowblind) and more laidback compositions (Jeune Loup, Then There’s Her, The Long Night), without at any moment losing the focus on the overall ambience.

4.2/5

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TRACKLIST

Keep It Coming
Another Way
Bergerie
My House
Jeune Loup
Snowblind
Then There's Her
8080
Speakeasy
The Long Night

SWAYZAK Discography

THE SURFER'S GUIDE TO SWAYZAK
Swayzak
!K7

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