Toiling for more than 10 years in a gray corner of their own invention, James Taylor and David Brown of London’s Swayzak look to be coming out into a world of light and color. Sort of. As a DJ team, Swayzak has delivered kaleidoscopic sets that have long been regarded as legendary. (As proof, listen to their double mix-CD, Groovetechnology v1.3). They use electro-pop, minimal house, ambient techno and dub as coequal and transposable parts. But this sonic democracy has not always been effective on their production efforts. The group’s previous LP, Dirty Dancing — which included the song “I Dance Alone” (featuring a sneering vocal accompaniment by Adult.’s Nicola Kuperus) — was both angry and sentimental; each thread might have been better served on separate recordings.
On Swayzak’s new full-length, Loops from the Bergerie, this alternating structure remains. But the format is helped by the presence of vocalist Richard Davis, a rising star on the Euro-club scene (and a member of Swayzak’s current touring group). Davis is featured on “My House,” “Snowblind” and the elegant and self-reflective “Another Way,” which begins: “There are many things I said, and some were true/I can make you promises, but what’s the use?” Rarely has a post-love song, inviting us inside a damaged and cynical human heart, sounded this honest.
Appears Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Magic Stick (4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700) with Matthew Dear.
Walter Wasacz writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].