[ Swayzak ]
James Taylor and David Brown (Broon to
his friends) met while working together at the Virgin Records headquarters in
London. Spurred on by a shared penchant for Patrick Swayze and a disdain for
cheesy dance music, they went on to form Swayzak. Their '97 debut release,
"Bueno/Fukumachi," was well-received by London's burgeoning tech-house
underground, most notably Terry Francis, Nathan Coles, and Mr. C. A few releases
later and Swayzak had secured an album deal with both Pagan Records in the U.K.
and The Medicine Label in the U.S. Snowboarding In Argentina, released in May of
'98, was well-received critically by the dance music press on both sides of the
pond and even chosen as Album of the Year by the U.S. dance publication Mixer.
Their follow-up full-length project,
Himawari (released through The Medicine Label), is the result of eighteen months
of hard graft. It forges elements of deep minimal house, silky smooth
tech-house, straight-up techno, and even modern dub. The duo drafted dub poet
Benjamin Zephaniah for his wise words as well as former Opus III nymph Kirsty
Hawkshaw and JB Rose for their respective vocal talents. The result is an album
that is both rich in its musical influences and cutting-edge in its production.
"Kensal Rising," taken from Himawari, has the dance floor qualities of a Loaded
release coupled with the technical depth of a Perlon output. If any underground
techno house act is able to cross over into the mainstream, it will be